Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Winter Wildlife Gardening

Ernie Allison loves nature. More specifically, he loves birds and wants to teach others how to appreciate them, too. To help further this mission, he writes for the bird feeder accessories provider, birdfeeders.com.
It is pretty well-known that gardening can be great for your health. It offers stress relief, exercise, improves mental health, and provides you with fresh food to eat and beautiful plants to look at. It is also good for the environment. By making specific choices, you can provide native plants that are great for the local wildlife to thrive off of, especially in the winter.
Many people assume that you need to cut down all your plants and kill your garden before winter does. This is a lot of unnecessary work. By leaving your garden as is, you allow nature to take its course, which gives shelter and food sources for native animals. Here are some benefits of leaving your garden be for the winter.
·         Snow is known to bend large plants. This of course eliminates perches for birds, but creates pathways for them as well as other creatures to utilize.
·         Piles of leaves provide a warm shelter for small animals.
·         Cutting the tops off plants can actually cause them to die completely due to the cold.
·         Worms and other bugs may take shelter also, which will attract birds for your viewing pleasure, especially in the spring when everyone warms up and comes out to feed.
·         By skipping the needless landscaping, you save yourself a lot of stress, which is what gardening is all about! Why clean up your garden in the fall and the spring, when you can get away with doing it once, and have better results!
·         You can use your extra time to watch the wildlife and plan your garden strategy for the spring
Here are some extras you can do in order to provide for the winter wildlife in your area. After all, not everyone sleeps all winter, and freezing temperatures can make food difficult to find.
·         Choose seed and berry producing plants that can stand up to the winter cold. Some options are:
o        Bayberry
o        Dogwood
o        Virginia Creeper
o        See what’s native to your area 
·         If you choose to supplement with a bird feeder, be sure to get your seed from a source that is guaranteed not to use pesticides or other harmful ingredients.
·         Minimize the mullet, and remember that bread is bad for birds. Stick with nuts, seeds, and other unprocessed foods. For more information on what food to choose, check out this resource page about feeding birds.
By using your gardening habit to benefit the wildlife around you, you are spreading the health benefits that gardening brings to you. That should help you sleep easier at night, on top of everything else.

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