How to improve the biodiversity in your garden
Posted Thursday, May 31 2012 at 17:15
Let’s start with explaining the meaning of biodiversity and why it is important.
Biodiversity is if you can take one of Kenya’s national parks and consider everything that lives in that area and how it has survived for many millenniums.
When we say everything, we really mean everything from the tiniest insect to the largest animals, including all the plants and all the creatures that live underground, and all the mushrooms (fungi) and bacteria.
This is the natural biodiversity and they all depend on each other for their survival.
Unfortunately, us humans came along and because of our urge to procreate and “develop” the planet, we have destroyed the natural habitat and broken the chain of biodiversity so that several of the wonderful creatures that have evolved have been pushed into extinction.
And of course, once extinct, there is no coming back!
With the continued spread of urban development and farming activities, we all have a part to play in order to sustain biodiversity even though our gardens may be small in the overall context.
This way, we may help to save some creatures which are being pushed to the edge of extinction.
It has been shown that gardens play a very important part in urban areas because combined, they form a large land area, and that there are many things we can do to help, like:-
1. Grow a range of trees and shrubs, preferably indigenous, that will provide food and shelter for a variety of creatures.
2. Hedges, particularly those loosely clipped ones that provide good nesting and shelter sites for birds and other creatures.
3. Grow flowering annuals, biennials and perennials to provide nectar and pollen for bees, butterflies and other insects and for several bird species.
4. If you don’t have a water feature in your garden, provide a bird bath or even a small container for water as many creatures, in addition to birds, need a daily drink and these include bees and other insects.
5. All gardens should compost their organic waste using all pruning and grass from lawn mowing as the final product is invaluable for keeping the soil healthy for all the plants that grow on it and the creatures that live in it.
6. Avoid daily sweeping of leaves and other organic litter as they provide a habitat for all sorts of small creatures and food for those that feed on them.