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Tips for promoting Biodiversity in your Garden - TNK Green

Tips for promoting Biodiversity in your Garden

For those of you who might not already know Biodiversity refer to the diversity of species both Fauna and Flora found within any giver ecosystem.

We are facing a global housing shortage crisis and with the ever-increasing global population, the problem is not going away. The result of solving the housing problem are widespread urban sprawl and urbanization and the consequential destruction of previously untouched ecosystems are inevitable. Therefore it is becoming increasingly important to integrate our gardens with the natural world. This can be done by planting native and endemic species that will provide familiar habitat and food to the local insect and animal communities.

So why talk about something so intuitively simple? The reason is that most modern landscapes and gardens in our urban fabric rely mostly on extensive lawns, exotic and sometimes invasive planting and monocultures of single species planted in mass for effect. The same applies to the way we grow food and modern agriculture where large swaths of land are seeded with single crops and harvested year after year creating insect deserts

Now the question remains: how do we promote biodiversity in our gardens? Easy! By following a few basic principles.

Plant flowering plants:  By planting a succession of flowering plants for all seasons in your garden and by combining both annual & perennial plants, flowering shrubs and trees you can provide pollen and nectar for bees, butterflies, hummingbirds and if allowed to go to seed, food for a multitude of birds.

Go Local: Plants have been developing and adapting to their environments for millions of years. This led to a wealth of forms and adaptations that allowed plants to spread and occupy almost every part of the globe. Because of this local plants are better adapted for the climate and less susceptible to pests, drought or environmental stresses. Above all the local fauna will thank you for familiar food and habitat. We don’t mean to say that you can’t plant exotic plants but by limiting them in our spaces we can all contribute a bit to suburban environmental rehabilitation.

Introduce Water: Every living creature on planet earth need water to survive. Adding a fountain, pond or simply a bird drinking bowl can support the local insects and bird communities and attract amphibians. A biodiverse ecosystem requires multiple species including predators to control the plant-eating insects.

Creating habitat and shelter: By introducing natural shelter we can invite insects to stay in our gardens. Bug or bee hotels have become very popular in recent years. However, the best way is to promote habitat in your garden is o to leave dry and spend flower heads through winter and only pruning in spring just before the new growing season starts. Another good way if you don’t like the idea of an unkempt garden is by simply stacking some wood or incorporating a permanent rockery or a stumpery in your garden.

Mow less: High maintenance and water-hungry manicured lawns are like giant deserts for most insects because of a lack of food and resources. Sprawling green lawns have become synonymous with suburbia so much so that it has become an expected norm.  By slowly replacing your lawns with native wild grasses, shrubs and annuals we can slowly change our manicured urban landscape with a more natural and grounded landscape that support more wildlife.

Relinquish Control:  Nature is messy but self-sustaining. Fallen leaves of one season become the food for thousands of insects, animals and fungi and are recycled into the mulch and compost of the next season.  Take a deep breath and take a step back, curating only what becomes necessary, and letting the rest of your garden go wild. Planning your garden is important but once everything becomes established, take a step back and relish in your little piece of heaven. Just remember low maintenance don’t mean any maintenance.

Have any of the above been helpful to you? Have any suggestions or other helpful tips please send us a mail and we’ll gladly add them to our upcoming posts.

For now, hope you all have a great week filled with life.

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