Increasing Your Backyard Biodiversity

Are you looking to create a habitat haven in your backyard? Are you looking to bring in more pollinator pals to your garden? Do you want to watch more wildlife? These can all be achieved if you start increasing the biodiversity of your backyard. Unsure of where to start? Well, here are several tips for you to create a thriving, diverse, and environmentally friendly backyard.

Tip #1: Use Native Plants

Native Plants are every gardener and landscaper's secret weapon. By selecting native plants, you are setting yourself up for success because these plants are already adapted to your location's soil types and climates, making it easier for them to establish. Once established they have deep rooting systems that allow them to have a higher drought tolerance and helps water absorb into the ground faster, reducing the chances of flooding. Many of the local insects, birds, and pollinators prefer native species so they are excellent food sources for a variety of species. Not to mention, native plants require less maintenance which means less work for you and more time spent enjoying your backyard.   

Not sure what plants are native to your area? The National Wildlife Federation created an amazing Native Plant Finder that can help you identify the right species for your location. Once you determine which species you want, you can purchase the seed or plants from us at Agrecol!

Pro Tip:

The Native Plant Finder will even tell you how many species will use the plant as a host species so look for plants that will host a high number of butterfly and moths. This will help increase the biodiversity of your backyard immensely.

Black Eyed Susans
Butterfly Milkweed
Purple Prairie Clover

Tip #2: Shrink Your Lawn

Do you have a large yard that takes hours to mow? Do you have parts of your lawn that you never use? Consider turning parts of your lawn into a native plant garden or a water feature so that insects, birds, and butterflies can also start enjoying the yard. By creating spaces in your backyard that are designed for bird, pollinator and wildlife habitats you can drastically increase your yard's biodiversity.   

Are you unwilling to give up your lawn? That's ok. Consider mowing your grass to 3 inches instead of the standard 2 inches. This helps the grass develop deeper roots, allows water to soak in quicker, retains moisture easier, creates more space for insects to interact, and maintains the same look that you desire. Win-Win!  

Pro Tip:

If you are going to mow, do not mow around dusk. That is the time when nocturnal species leave their hiding places, and it puts them at greater risk. 

Tip #3: Remove Invasive Species

By removing invasive species, you make room for native plants to take their place. This means a wider range of plant varieties instead of the monoculture invasive species. With more plant varieties comes more biodiversity. Check with your local DNR to identify invasive species in your backyard and the best strategies for removal.

Tip #4: Create Habitats

If you want to increase the biodiversity of your backyard, then you need to create ample opportunities for food and shelter for a variety of species. This could include…  

Adding a Water Feature – by adding water to your backyard you are creating a space for birds and wildlife to drink water, take baths and new aquatic creatures like toads, frogs, and dragonflies can partake in the fun. Consider adding a birdbath, pond, or stream, and watch the biodiversity of your lawn unfold right before your eyes.

Adding a Bird or Bat House – by adding a bird or bat house you are creating safe species for these species to exist. Then these species can provide several valuable functions for you like keeping the mosquito population at bay, removing pest insects, providing entertainment for you to watch, and more.

Native Garden