Preparing Your Wildlife Garden for Winter

Winter is closer than you think and now is the perfect time to start preparing your wildlife garden for winter.  Fall is the time to harvest any vegetables, clear out your bed and get manure ready for next year.  You may still have flowers blooming but it won’t be long before the leaves start piling up so now is the time to get started.  It’s not just plants that need some TLC before winter it is also the wildlife that lives there too.  Here is how you can get started.

Compost

Composting is a cheap and easy way to provide valuable nutrients to your soil for the next year.  Not only that but lots of bugs, hedgehogs and other amphibians will hibernate in the warm compost over the course of the winter.  When the temperature drops most of these insects and animals will die if they can’t find a place to hibernate.  If you haven’t got your compost ready then now is the time to start.  Here is some help with getting your composter ready for winter.

Leaving Seeds

Seeds are predominant in the fall and some plants create thousands of seeds.  These seeds provide food for lots of birds like finches that rely on them for a food source over the winter.  While you may be tempted to start cutting back the bushes and shrubs rather you should wait until the birds have had their fill first.  That way they can fill up on berries and seeds before winter sets in.

Cleaning Up Your Pond

If you have a pond in your garden then you need to get that clean up as well.  When the leaves start falling the last thing you want is for them to end up in your pond turning it into a stagnant mess.  At the same time if you cover up the pond then the local wildlife like birds, squirrels and other animals lose a valuable source of water.  If you cover the pond then you should provide another source of water.

Leave the Leaves Alone

There is nothing like the brilliant hues of the changing leaves in the fall, the rich reds, oranges and browns that make fall beautiful.  But most homeowners make a habit of raking up those leaves and shoving them in plastic bin bags.  While you don’t need to leave falling leaves all over the property but you shouldn’t rake every last one of them up either.  Over the winter leaves provide shelter for small animals and provide food for worms.

As you prepare your garden for the winter don’t forget the animals that will be trying to escape the cold this winter too.