Wildlife Gardening with Paul Peace

Wildlife gardening - timely advice throughout the year, projects etc. Information on wild flowers, birds, butterflies, bumblebees, mason bees, ladybirds, lacewings, frogs, etc. If it's to do with garden wildlife, you will find it here!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Autumn leaves: friend or foe?

Autumn leaf fall is very good news for animals such as ladybirds, hedgehogs and insects. They need a warm, dry place to hibernate or shelter. Consider creating a leaf pile in a quiet, sheltered corner or under evergreen shrubs.

Alternatively, leaving leaves where they fall will improve the soil and provide food for invertebrates such as worms. If tidiness is important you could stack the leaves in a covered mesh bin and make some leaf-mould for use as a soil conditioner or mulch.

Leaf fall is not such good news for small wildlife ponds. Decomposing leaves can release toxins and noxious gases as well as removing vital oxygen from the water (stagnation). Aquatic animals can be poisoned or starved of oxygen. So leaves need to be removed or netting stretched across the pond to catch them. Remember to leave some access for frogs and other wildlife, such as birds wanting to drink and wash.

For more wildlife gardening advice, ebooks, information, projects and jokes please visit: www.thewildlifegarden.co.uk


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