Wildlife plants feed many animals and mammals
Love Animals? Plant Berries to Attract Wildlife
Few moments are more precious than watching wildlife enjoy your back yard. Even more enjoyable is sharing a wildlife viewing with a child. According to the National Wildlife Federation, the average child spends approximately 53 hours per week involved in entertainment media. Diverting a child’s, or even an adult’s, attention from television to a backyard filled with wildlife is probably one of the most important endeavors we can undertake.
There are strategies for inviting wildlife into your yard. Mammals, birds and insects, like butterflies, all have basic needs:
• cover from predators
• a place to raise their young
Planting shrubs, like blueberries, is a great beginning. Shrubs offer food, cover and good nesting locations. Also, the twigs from the shrub are perfect construction materials for bird nests. Flowering shrubs attract bees and butterflies. And berries attract a variety of animals, such as songbirds, bees, butterflies and many mammals, including beautiful deer.
Berries are not limited to shrubs, however. Plant some vines to complement your shrubbery. Together, these plants will provide animals with food, shelter, and habitats.
• Blueberry bushes are resistant to both pests and diseases, making them easy to grow. In the fall, their leaves turn a beautiful read, and in the spring, you can expect lovely white flowers. In late June through mid-August, both you and your wildlife can enjoy fresh blueberries.
• Raspberry bushes enjoy cooler climates than blueberries, although some varieties can grow in warmer regions. You can choose from summer-bearers that ripen in the summer and even-bearers that ripen twice: in the summer and the fall.
• Blackberry vines are easy to grow. However, choose your plant from a reputable nursery since some vines have a problem with viruses. If you trellis your blackberries, they are easier to care for.
• Dewberry vines are also good for beginners. These berries are similar to blackberries, but they are larger and grow closer to the ground. Often found growing wild, dewberries are tart and are delicious when baked into a pie. Butterflies and bees enjoy dewberries.
• Boysenberry vines are easiest to manage when they are trellised. These berries are a hybrid of the raspberry, blackberry, and loganberry. Birds love boysenberries, which are larger than either blackberries or raspberries.
Whatever combination of berries you choose, you will enjoy both the fruit and wild visitors that the berries invite. In only a year, you will be admiring wildlife right from your backyard.