How Do I Turn My Backyard Into a Natural Habitat?

Wildlife, flowers, and trees can add a lot of life to a backyard. Some people love the idea of nature surrounding them and there is no better place to invite it than in a backyard. It could get complicated and takes years to accomplish but creating a natural habitat in your backyard is worth it. 

How do I turn my backyard into a natural habitat? You can create a natural habitat in your backyard by planting trees, shrubs that attract butterflies and birds, adding water, planting gardens, adding pollinating plants, adding bird feeders, and reducing chemicals used on grasses and plants. 

Read further to find out how to make your backyard a haven for wildlife. 

Understanding Nature’s Cycle

Nature has an ongoing cycle that you need to understand to create a backyard natural habitat. It doesn’t matter what size your yard is, wildlife will come to you if you create a spot that joins in this cycle. 

Plants provide air cleansing, food, shade, and shelter. Water is needed for drinking, some bugs, and keeping plants healthy.  Grass plays a role in preventing erosion and pollination. Bugs need pollination. Bugs provide some help for plants and food for birds and other animals. 

Having a sustainable natural habitat will not only help wildlife but will provide some joy for you and your family. 

Read: How Much Does It Cost To Redo A Backyard?

Tips to Create a Natural Habitat

You can do the following things that will draw nature to your yard. All of these don’t need to be done at once but can be done over time. 

Plant trees

Trees take time to grow so plant them first. They not only will provide shade for you and your family but will add a place for birds and squirrels. Trees also add tremendous value to your property in resale. 

Fruit trees are helpful in a couple of ways. You can eat the fruit when it comes in but they also attract things like bees and birds. Other types of wildlife like squirrels and raccoons will like some of the fallen fruit too.

Plant shrubs and grass

Some shrubs attract positive bugs like butterflies and praying mantis. You want bugs that eat other more destructive insects. Shrubs serve as pollinators that help endangered insects like honeybees and their foliage also serve as snacks for other forms of wildlife including deer. 

Grass is considered a better option over turf because grass reproduces seed. Native grasses also provide shelter and tend to be easier to maintain. 

Read: Are Backyard Renovations Worth It?

Increase pollination

There are ways to help pollination besides planting flowers and shrubs in the ground. Those with smaller yards can add container plants and window boxes to help draw pollinating species. 

Look for perennials that bloom at different times of the year. Plant them in groups so there are blooming plants all year long. While many people may not like the idea of bees, they serve a purpose as are important to pollinating the entire ecosystem. Around 25 percent of what we drink and eat comes from bees.

Butterflies love plants with leaves because that’s where they lay eggs. Caterpillars feast on the leaves until it’s time to cocoon. 

Read: How Much Should I Spend On My Backyard?

Create Gardens

Most home experts understand that gardens are an important part of landscaping. While flower gardens are lovely and draw wildlife, other types of gardens can serve multiple uses for both humans and animals. 

Vegetable and herb gardens are a growing trend as more people seek to reduce food costs, want organic food, and cook at home. These types of plantings create a sustainable environment for humans, wildlife, and insects. 

Landscaping experts advise using natural plants for any garden you create, whether it’s a vegetable garden, a rock garden, a rain garden, or a flower garden. 

Natural plants are going to thrive better than those meant for other regions. 

It’s best to decide the purpose of your garden before you create it. For instance, rock gardens are great at stopping erosion while rain gardens work well to resolve an overabundance of water in the soil. 

Raised gardens are an excellent way to enjoy a small space or avoid using bad soil.

Set out your plan with all these other purposes in mind so you are working with your natural backyard rather than against it.

You don’t want insects and wildlife to destroy your crops so use natural methods of repellent. However, you can also discard some of what you don’t use or prune for animal or insect food or put the rubbish into a compost pile. 

Compost will eventually be used to till into the soil, which keeps the earth healthy and provides food for insects, birds, and other wildlife.

Reduce Chemicals

The fact that many bugs use shrubs and plants for breeding and food indicates how important it is to be careful what you spray on them. Chemicals, like pesticides, are meant to kill bugs. While they may kill more harmful insects, they kill the good ones too. 

Look to see what the components are and try to use more natural methods to reduce the pesty bug population. 

Read: How Much Does A 14×20 Deck Cost To Build On The Backyard?

Just Add Water

Water adds a lot to the natural habitat and draws things like frogs. Those creating a pond or small lake can stock it with fish to multiply. That will draw other wildlife like migrating ducks, geese, and birds. 

Plants will also start growing around a pond that pulls them into the natural ecosystem. Smaller water features like birdbaths will allow other native birds a chance to drink and clean themselves. 

Just be careful of stagnant water. That will produce mosquitos, which you don’t want. 

Adding Other Features

Adding bird feeders and even bat houses will do a lot to create the natural habitat you want. Birds do a lot to control insects and bats are excellent mosquito catchers. 

Read: How To Catch A Bird On The Backyard?


How do insects help us?

Bugs help humans by feeding on pesty insects, pollinating food crops, and also cleaning up waste from feces and other materials left by other animals. 

What are the best plants for pollination?

Several plants work well for pollination including stonecrop, milkweed, coneflower, and goldenrod. Some of these plants are also high-allergy plants so be sure to choose carefully. Also, pick plants that grow naturally in your area. 

How do I keep wildlife under control in my yard?

Everyone loves wildlife but you don’t want to be overrun with it. You can do some things to manage it well including cleaning out your gutters, don’t leave pet food outside, keeping trees trimmed, and maintaining trash in sealed containers.

Why is it important to create a natural habitat?

Creating a natural habitat protects wildlife and promotes biodiversity. With ongoing development, many habitats are being destroyed, and that hurts the entire ecosystem. Creating one will help keep it in check. 

What are invasive plants?

Invasive plants are those that can disrupt ecosystems and plant communities. They are usually non-native plants but grow quickly in many areas. They are hard to get rid of and can destroy areas for other plants. Kudzu and English ivy are considered invasive plants.

How do I naturally control bugs?

Some herbs are natural bug repellents and work well to keep them out of your vegetables. Flies don’t like basil and spiders don’t like citrus. Common dish soap gets rid of ants.