Convert Your Lawn to a Wildlife-Friendly Garden

Woman Gardening

Homeowners tend to have a great sense of pride associated with their lawns. They keep them cut short, use pesticides to keep them weed-free, and water them during dry spells. It takes a lot of work, but they feel that it's worth it to maintain a neat and tidy appearance.

But a growing number of homeowners are deciding to forgo mainstream lawn care practices and make their lawns more wildlife-friendly. This requires some work, too – it's not as easy as just ceasing to mow. A good wildlife garden has flowers and plants that attract and feed native species. But for those who enjoy watching nature up close, they are certainly worth the effort.

There are many advantages to turning your lawn into a wildlife garden. Here are a few to think about.

* Wildlife gardens are easy to care for. There is some work involved in getting them started, but once the plants are growing, you don't have to do much in the way of maintenance. You never have to mow, and watering requirements are minimal. Even when the weather is dry, the long grasses and weeds will retain more water than a manicured lawn.

* The native plants used in a wildlife garden are beautiful, and they tend to do very well since they are in their natural habitat. You don't have to worry much about them becoming diseased or needing extra attention, because they are already adapted to the weather and conditions in your area.

* A good wildlife garden attracts all types of species. Some plants attract insects, which in turn attract birds and other animals that feed on them. Other plants directly attract small animals, which in turn attract larger animals that are their natural predators.

* Wildlife gardens provide an unparalleled learning experience for children. They learn about plants and animals in school, but getting to see them up close and personal makes much more of an impression than looking at pictures in books. It also encourages them to ask questions and interact with their surroundings.

* Wildlife gardens are very environmentally friendly. Since you won't be mowing, you will create much less air pollution. And the absence of pesticides is not only good for the animals that visit and live in your garden, it's also good for soil and groundwater quality.

A wildlife garden is much more interesting than a stretch of short, perfectly uniform grass. And it's also good for the animals that inhabit your surroundings. It provides them with food and shelter, and it provides you with a wealth of natural beauty right in your own yard. It's truly a win-win situation.

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