Supporting the Wildlife Your Plants Attract

May 11, 2016

By: Jennifer Davit

As the weather begins to warm up and wildflowers start to bloom, it's time to start thinking about all the ways you can support the wildlife that your landscape will attract. Though native seed provided by Ohio Prairie Nursery provides a huge number of resources for native wildlife, some thoughtful additions will enhance your landscape.

Water is essential to all wildlife! Birds, mammals and insects drink water, but also use it for bathing and cooling off in the heat of summer. Depending on your space limitations, you might start by adding a birdbath, which will be used by a variety of wildlife, not just birds. If you have more space, a small pond will servce as an oasis for all kinds of visitors.

If you are hoping to attract butterflies, they need some protection from wind, open areas of bare earth or rocks for basking and muddy or moist soil where they can take in necessary minerals.

For those of you trying to create bird habitat, adding some native trees and shrubs will provide secluded areas for nesting, cover from predators and safe places to perch. Evergreens will provide this habitat throughout the year - and some of the conifers produce seeds in their cones that birds feed upon.

Native pollinators need nesting sites, which have become less common as more manicured landscapes have taken the place of the desired habitats for the nests. The Xerces Society has created a great fact sheet on how to create nest sites for native bees and make space for these essential pollinators.

We hope you find time to enjoy your landscape this season, enhance it if needed, and enjoy all of the wildlife that visits.

Prairie On!

 

 

Native Plant Garden with Wildlife Features
Example of Rain Garden with Wildlife Features
Bird Nest in Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa)