January is a great time to start planning for a wildlife-friendly garden. As the winter months set in, many wildlife species struggle to find food and shelter. By providing a safe haven for these creatures, you can help support local ecosystems and enjoy the company of birds, butterflies, and other animals in your own backyard.
One of the best ways to create a wildlife-friendly garden is by planting native plants. These plants are well-adapted to the local climate and provide a natural food source for birds and insects. For example, in January, you can plant trees and shrubs such as Dogwood, Redbud, and Eastern Red Cedar. These plants provide a vital food source for birds during the winter months.
Another way to create a wildlife-friendly garden is by adding a water feature. Birds and other animals need access to fresh water all year round, and a small pond or bird bath can make a big difference. Be sure to keep the water clean and free of ice during the winter months.
In addition to planting and adding water features, you can also provide shelter for wildlife in your garden. Simple structures such as birdhouses, bat boxes, and bee hotels can provide a safe and warm place for animals to spend the winter.
Finally, it’s important to reduce or eliminate the use of pesticides and other chemicals in your garden. These harmful substances can kill beneficial insects and birds, and can also contaminate the soil and water in your area. Instead, use natural methods to control pests, such as companion planting and hand-picking.
Overall, January is a great time to start planning for a wildlife-friendly garden. By providing food, water, shelter, and reducing the use of harmful chemicals, you can help support local ecosystems and enjoy the company of birds, butterflies, and other animals in your own backyard.
If you would like to know more, click the link to read the Dorset Wildlife Trust’s first wildlife gardening blog of 2023!