Creating a Backyard Wildlife Habitat The following information should serve as a guide when developing a Backyard Wildlife Habitat. Use the information to create your own personal garden to attract wildlife to your landscape. Components of a Backyard Wildlife Habitat A Backyard Wildlife Habitat should contain four (4) essential elements to support and attract wildlife: o Food, Water, Shelter, and Nesting areas/Places to raise young.
Native plants are most often used in these habitats to maintain and enhance biological diversity. Native plants are the best source of food for wildlife. Plants that have cgrown up d in the environment (native plants) are acclimated to the temperature, precipitation, and soil type of an area, and are relatively pest-free.
Assess your landscape It is just as important to restore and conserve an existing habitat, as it is to create a new one. o Survey your landscape for areas that may already support wildlife (squirrels, birds, butterflies). o Study the plants already growing in your landscape and their health.
o Note areas that are wet or dry, sunny or shady, and soil type. A soil test is recommended. This can be purchased from a garden center or a sample mailed to the local extension office.
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the nearest water source and consider what type of irrigation will be used. o Note any sidewalks, driveways, or structure that would affect the habitat. o Identify any above ground or below ground utilities.<br><br> o Where will this area be viewed from most often? What view would you like from this area? o Note if chemicals have been used in the landscape and the location.<br><br> Determine the design of your Backyard Wildlife Habitat o The amount of time you want to spend in this area will determine the design and size of your habitat. o Decide what wildlife you want to support within your habitat, this will help to determine the types of plants used. o Ensure the Backyard Wildlife Habitat easy to access and include room to work in the garden.<br><br> o Use local Native Plant Societies, Botanical organizations, and National Wildlife Federation as a resource for information on garden design and plant choices. o Review books, publications, and Internet sites for information on habitats. o Visit other Backyard Wildlife Habitats to see how the garden works and is used by wildlife and people.<br><br> o Go to local nurseries and local plant sales for plant selections. o What features would you like to include? o (Bird feeders, birdbaths, pond, snag) Creating the Garden o Outline the space for your habitat garden.<br><br> Designate pathways, ponds, or other structures that will be a part of the garden. o If there are existing plants in the garden space, perform any necessary pruning or transplanting before new plants are installed. o B e sure to properly prepare the soil for your habitat garden.<br><br> Ensure that the soil is well drained and not compacted. The soil test will tell you about the soil nutrients and any necessary amendments. If additional nutrients are needed, use organic matter (compost) as an amendment.<br><br> o Lay out the new plants in groups or clusters, this provides a more natural look to the garden. Be sure to place plants in the appropriate place for their requirements. (Shade-loving plants in shade, not a sunny area) o Follow the planting instructions and water in the new plantings.<br><br> o Apply a 2-3 inch layer of shredded leaves, pine straw, or shredded mulch to the planted areas. This will insulate the soil, protect plants form drought, and keep weeds to a minimum. o Personalize your Backyard Wildlife Habitat with bird feeders, birdbaths, toad abodes, and items that reflect your personality.<br><br> o Use broken clay pots or Popsicle sticks to label your plants. o Keep a journal of the wildlife that is observed in your habitat, you might be surprised by what you find! Resources Internet The National Wildlife Federation 3 www.nwf.org The Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center 3 www.wildflower.org Creating a Backyard Habitat - www.backyardwildlifehabitat.info Family of Nature websites 3 www.birdwebsite.com Georgia Native Plant Society 3 www.gnps.org Georgia Botanical Society 3 www.gabotsoc.org Georgia Wildlife Federation 3 www.gwf.org Junior Master Gardener 3 www.jmgkids/wildlifegardener Books National Wildlife Federation Attracting Birds, Butterflies, and Other Backyard Wildlife by David Mizejewski Gardening with Native Plants of the South by Sally Wasowski Wildflowers of the Eastern United States by Wilbur H.<br><br> Duncan See the Georgia Native Plant Society web site for a recommended reading list for Wildlife Gardening and plant sources. Your local Cooperative Extension is a great resource for ideas and assistance with your landscape. Plant Sources Zoo Atlanta Spring Plant Sale Fernbank Science Center Spring Sale Pike Family Nurseries (Atlanta, GA) Habersham Garden Center (Atlanta, GA) Hastings Garden Center (Atlanta, GA) Goodness Grows (Lexington, GA) Randy 9s Perennials & Water Gardens, Inc (Lawrenceville, GA) Glade Springs Nursery (Jackson, GA) Zoo Atlanta Contact : Danielle Green, Horticulture Department 404-624-5620 Zoo Atlanta 9s Georgia Wildlife Backyard Habitat Zoo Atlanta 9s Georgia Backyard Wildlife Habitat is a unique exhibit of native plants, not only to the Southeastern US, but some plants native only to Georgia.<br><br> In addition, most plant genus are native within fifty (50) miles of Atlanta! Cross-referencing native plant lists from the Georgia Native Plant Society and the Atlas of Vascular Flora of Georgia compiled by the Georgia Botanical Society created the list of plants. This garden was designed to educate the public on urban biodiversity, native plants, and gardening techniques that can be used to attract local wildlife.<br><br> This garden can also be used for public and school events, teacher training, and stewardship programs. The following list of plants will provide the essential four elements (food, cover, water, and places to raise young) for a Wildlife Backyard Habitat. Some species may not always be visible as many native wildflowers are only seen in Spring.<br><br> Plant List (*bold species found in this exhibit) Trees American Holly Ilex opaca Sassafras Sassafras albidum Serviceberry Amelanchier arborea Sweetbay Magnolia Magnolia virginiana Two-winged Silverbell Halesia diptera magniflora Mountain Silverbell Halesia monticola Franklinia Franklinia altamaha Big-Leaf Magnolia Magnolia macrophylla Possumhaw Ilex decidua Winterberry Holly Ilex verticillata Southern Magnolia Magnolia grandiflora Pawpaw Asimina triloba Carolina Cherrylaurel Prunus caroliniana Sycamore Platanus occidentalis Dogwood Cornus florida 8Plena 9 American Styrax Styrax americanus Shrubs American Beautyberry Callicarpa americana Florida Leucothoe Leucothoe (Agarista) populifolia Fothergilla Fothergilla major Oakleaf Hydrangea Hydrangea quercifolia Carolina Allspice/Sweetshrub Calycanthus floridus Sweet Pepperbush Clethera alnifolia Virginia Sweetspire Itea virginica Red Buckeye Aesculus pavia Red Chokeberry Aronia arbutifolia Hearts a 9 bustin Euonymus americanus Spice Bush Lindera benzoin Mountain Laurel Kalmia latifolia Witchhazel Hamamelis virginiana Rabbiteye Blueberry V accinium ashei Florida Azalea Rhododendron austrinum Flame Azalea Rhododendron calendulaceum Piedmont Azalea Rhododendron canescens Catawba Rhododendron Rhododendron catawbiense Smooth Witherod Viburnum Viburnum nudum Bracteated Viburnum Viburnum bracteatum Perennials Columbine Aqueligia canadensis Virginia Bluebells Mertensia virginica Lily-of-the-valley Convallaria majalis Butterfly Weed Asclepias tuberosa False Indigo Baptisia australis Mouse-Ear Coreopsis Coreopsis lanceolata Bleeding Heart Dicentra exima Bloodroot Sanguinaria canadensis Pale Joe Pye Weed Eupatorium fistulosum Purple Coneflower Echinacea purpurea Swamp Sunflower Helianthus angustifolius Alum Root Heuchera americana Bee Balm Monarda didyma Mountain Mint Pycnanthemum muticum Pale Coneflower Echinacea pallida Goldenrod Solidago rugosa Stokers Aster Stokesia laevis Trillium Yellow Trillium lutem Trillium White Trillium grandiflorum Foamflower Tiarella cordifolia Spiderwort Tradescantia virginica Celadine Poppy Stylophorum diphylla Tall Ironweed Vernonia altissima Columbine Aquilegia canadensis Black Cohosh Cimicifuga racemosa Mayapple Podophyllum peltatum Meadow Rue Thalictrum aquilegiifolium Soapwort Gentian Gentiana saponaria Shuttleworth Ginger Hexastylus shuttleworthii Swamp Hibiscus Hibiscus coccineus White Gaura Gaura lindheimeri American Wood Anemone Anemone quinquefolia Green and Gold Chrysogonum virginianum 8Eco Lacqured Spider 9 Virginia Bluebells Mertensia virginica Lily-of-the-Valley Convallaria majalis Yellowroot Xanthorhiza simplicissima Cut-leaved toothwort Dentaria laciniata Autumn Bride Coral Bells Heuchera villosa macrorrhiza 8Autumn Bride 9 Beardtongue Penstomen 8Huskers Red 9 Christmas Fern Polystichum acrostichiodes Cinnamon Fern Osmunda cinnamomea Marginal Wood Fern Dryopteris marginalis Grasses Blue-eyed Grass Sisyrinchium angustifolium Switch Grass Panicum virgatum Vines American Wisteria Wisteria fructescens Coral Honeysuckle Lonicera sempivirens Crossvine Bignonia capreolata