Hello and welcome to my garden. Today I start a series on biodiversity in your backyard. With ten tips you can improve the biodiversity in your backyard which will get nature to help you with the work of maintenance and pest control. Let’s see tip number one!
The first thing you can do to bring more biodiversity to your backyard is add water. Not everyone has the luxury of having enough land or the right kind of land for a dam or another big water feature, but there are lots of little ways that you can add water to your garden that will bring in the birds, the pollinators and other animals too.
A birdbath is easy to add, easy to maintain and will help with pest control as well as delighting you with the antics of the birds. At the moment we’ve had an issue with animals, I suspect possums, knocking over our birdbaths in the night so we’ve found a quick fix until we can replace them. I always add a rock to the middle of the water so that insects can get out of the water easily. The birds love having a bath and they usually stick around long enough to gobble up some grasshoppers, caterpillars and other insects that are attacking my plants. The plants around the birdbath also enjoy the splashes of water from the birds’ energetic bathing habits.
In the front yard I have made a pond using a large ceramic pot. I trim back and tidy it up when the weather turns cold, but right now I am letting it be to avoid disturbing frogs. The 65 centimetre height stops the Cane Toads from using it and also encourages dragonflies. Trust me, if you have water you want dragonflies. Dragonflies eat mosquitoes at every stage of their own and the mosquitoes development. One adult dragonfly can eat more than one hundred mosquitoes every day. To encourage them further and provide habitat for frogs, I grow reeds in the pond as well as lily pads. I’ve added a large stick and the broad base of a palm leaf to give shelter to tree frogs. Crayfish eat the algae and Firetail Gudgeons complete the ecosystem and help keep mosquito larvae under control.
In my greenhouse I have a less aesthetically pleasing pond also containing crayfish and firetail gudgeons. This was supposed to help the frogs breed but the gudgeons are hungry and aggressive and eat the eggs before they hatch. They also eat the dragonfly larvae but I have another solution for that which I will get to in a minute. I use this pond to grow plants that like to sit in water like Vietnamese Mint (Persicaria odorata) and Brahmi Herb (Bacopa monnieri). I have added reeds and Woolly Frogmouth from my dam.
I solve the dragonfly larvae being eaten by adding this jar in my greenhouse which is rather full of algae right now. I am slowly replacing the water with clean water but I don’t want to disturb the dragonfly larvae which consistently populate its murky depths.
With accessible water in your garden you will reap the benefits through pest control, connection with nature and the pleasant aesthetics that water provides. On a hot summer’s day, your garden might even be a lifeline for wildlife who would otherwise perish.
Thanks for watching. Keep an eye on the janegrowsgardenrooms channel and blog for more tips on bringing biodiversity to your backyard. Don’t forget to leave a comment if you have a question or some feedback. Until next time!
Wishing you a plentiful supply of precious water,