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Blog 8

Do you want to turn your garden into a wildlife refuge?

It is overwhelming the way we live today, our desire to control everything, know everything, and worse still believe ourselves owners of this world, this idea has aroused in a global drama of which we are part without even realizing it. We assume that everything that inhabits this beautiful planet belongs to us, and the most regrettable thing is that our false needs or simply the search for our own well-being and comfort goes above all existing life forms.

One of these life forms is insects and they undoubtedly represent the species on which the entire planet depends. It is known that these represent almost half of all living organisms that we know, likewise their role is vital in pollination, in processes of food chains of insectivores and birds, being primary consumers of the trophic pyramid, therefore it is a pillar undeniable of our ecosystem.

 

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But unfortunately a new study has confirmed that populations of these species are in abysmal decline. An alert issued by the UN Environment in January 2019 specifies the multiple threats that increase this problem; widespread use of insecticides and agrochemicals, habitat fragmentation due to the expansion of intensive agriculture and of course climate change are the main causes without neglecting the growing appearance of invasive species and light pollution.

 

Now in Magnaflor we wonder what we can do … how can we actively contribute to minimizing the impact of this threat?

Well, if you are lucky enough to have a garden you can help, your small garden can be a great source of life and offer shelter to small species of insects and other invertebrates. Fighting the sterility of big cities by owning plants that bloom and produce seeds and with it to propitiate on a smaller scale the pollination.

Cheer up and try these little details that will give great results for our planet by attracting small insects, birds, mammals and invertebrates into your garden.

 

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How do I start creating a wildlife refuge in my garden?

 

Pay attention to your lawn

It is important to start by mowing the grass because this helps animals find food more easily, but cut it only in the center leaving the edges naturally as they are long create a kind of roof for invertebrates. It allows grass areas to grow wild, so you can give way to all kinds of wildlife, a place to hide and reproduce.

 

Avoid digging

Our goal is to generate life, we want our garden to have visitors right? For this we must start with the ground and it is important that you avoid digging or have established areas in which you do not remove the earth so that it remains completely settled. Place compost on the surface to generate habitat for various organisms, little by little earthworms, larvae, beetles and birds will begin to arrive.

In the variety is the spice

When cutting the grass or shaping the contours, do it irregularly, so the winds in these areas will be reduced, this favors creating several conditions of constant temperatures and shadows throughout the day favoring the diversity of the plants ( roses, carnations, hydrangeas, sunflowers, calla lily, etc.) and the habitat in general.

 

Wood and more wood

It provides shelter for a large amount of wildlife by placing logs and stacking wood under the bushes and around the edges of the garden. Grow ivy and place pieces of soil on top so that it generates moisture. Semi-buried logs in shaded areas, this environment is ideal for ferns and invertebrates. Perishable wood, trimmings and old foliage can be a popular hiding place for beetles and other insects, as well as fungi and moss.

 

Opt for vines

Plant vines, flowers of the forest in succession such as bells and palm trees under the trees or those that grow against the walls, all of these can provide a bright refuge for invertebrates, small frogs and worms, as well as resting and breeding sites for the birds. You should prune at the end of the summer and cover with a kind of mold from the same leaves.

 

A small pond

If possible, depending on your space, you can adapt a small ornamental pond, we know that because of the shallow depth it will not be mostly inhabited but will generate a cozy environment for other species.

 

Cetos Fences

If you have close-up ketos or want to improvise one, these should comprise a mixture of native shrub species, such as hawthorn, to provide food for invertebrates as well as shelter for small mammals such as hedgehogs and the world of birds , excellent place to cover predators and safe to build a nest, providing these areas can be invaluable. When you have an adequate size, wait until winter to prune and shape them, doing it this season is essential since you will avoid disturbing the birds that nest or impede their growth.

 

 Feed the birds

Provide a variety of foods regularly to attract a variety of birds, such as greengrocers. The number of visitors will increase over the years. Install plastic domes to prevent gray squirrels from assaulting your feeders.

 

Provide a home

Providing bird boxes, bat boxes and hedgehog houses can be a great way to introduce good artificial shelters in nature. Natural resting and nesting sites can be increasingly difficult for animals to find and our gardens give us the opportunity to give them a safe and continuous alternative.

Butterflies also need breeding sites, and growing the right plants can give them a place to reproduce and lay their eggs.

 

Promote pollination

Before sowing, you should think about which plants are best suited, which varieties produce more pollen or nectar for a long period, opt for flowers with broad flowering, open flowers that facilitate access to bees, butterflies and other pollinators, If you achieve this, you will have earned enough by giving them the opportunity to fertilize on a smaller scale.

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An important point is that these flowers should have been grown without synthetic pesticides. For added security, it is worth looking for an organic nursery and remember not to spray open flowers.

If you like a type of variety and can not adapt to your garden due to weather or any other, replace it as soon as possible. These plants may represent food for many animals, but you should choose to find more adaptable and fast-growing varieties, for example lavender, they are excellent for nectar and can bloom longer.

 

With these little tips you can make a change starting from home and teaching your close ones the importance of living in harmony with nature, remember that the world does not need us, but we undoubtedly depend on it and its generous ecosystem to survive.

 

Credit: Vivian Bermeo

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