Thursday, August 30, 2012

Gardening with wildlife

The four poults with their mother and aunt

In late summer the garden can begin to look a bit unkempt and insect pests like aphids return to take their toll on roses. But not with wild turkeys in residence. They spend their days eating insects and do an amazing job of consuming ticks, especially the deer ticks that cause Lyme Disease.

I garden to attract wildlife and create a haven for them, and so I protect certain plants that are hard for groundhogs to resist by wrapping them with flexible screen material (secured with closepins). I also use tightly woven hard screening material for new plantings like viburnum and other shrubs to protect them until they have a chance to get established. These deterrents work, the groundhogs accept them and continue to feel welcome in the garden. I appreciate the fact that they're happy to eat the lawn and garden weeds I'm not fond of. 

For me, a garden isn't a garden without wildlife.

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