A garden is the best place which brings you closer to nature. It allows us to experience an ecosystem, it is a system in which all living things that exist within a given area. Weather, earth, sun, soil, climate, and atmosphere are included in the ecosystem.
Every living organism has an important role and everything is recycled and nothing is wasted. What a great idea to create your ecosystem in your backyard.
I know it may be relatively small but your garden is a complete ecosystem in itself. The same components like producers (plants), consumers (birds, caterpillars, etc.), and decomposers (bacteria and fungi) are present in a small garden which are part of a larger ecosystem. So the presence of these components makes a garden an ecosystem.
In an ecosystem, there is a group of plants and animals that share the same resources and depend on each other for survival. The important elements that are interconnected and function together to create a natural and productive living system in your garden are as follows.
The plants in a garden are producers; they can produce their food in the presence of Sunlight. They are the basic foundation of any garden’s ecosystem, they provide a home for the animals and insects.
Insects and birds are attracted to the flowers because of nectar and pollen. Flowers produce nectar, which is a source of sugar and pollen is a source of protein which is good for birds and insects.
The pollens are very essential for bee larvae to develop. It means pollens are essential for the growth of the population. Plants are the best source to attract pollinators such as birds and insects.
TIP FOR CHOOSING PLANTS FOR YOUR BACKYARD OR GARDEN
If you are choosing plants for your backyard, you should be more careful. The important consideration is the local climate and environment. Don’t attract towards the color, size, and look of the plants. But select those plants which are suited according to your local area and local climate.
If you choose local plants then they easily adjust to the local soil and are ready to face the climatic conditions of your area. For this purpose, you can consult your local garden store. They will provide all the necessary information about the local plants.
In a garden, there are two types of consumers: primary consumers and secondary consumers. In primary consumers, insects such as caterpillars, bees, and butterflies are included.
Primary consumers are those insects, which eat plants. If we talk about secondary consumers, the animals included in these groups are meat-eaters. They are birds, snakes, and spiders.
Most of the consumers of your backyard provide services that we don’t see. For example, wasp and fly are pollinators and they can control the population of many pests.
Pests are not good for your plants, in the same way, small reptiles such as geckos and skinks like to eat insects that annoy us such as mosquitoes and midges.
Some pests like aphids and scale produce a sugary substance called honeydew which is an important sugar source for some beneficial insects such as bees, wasp, ants, and hoverflies. Some pollinators such as bees and hoverflies like to eat lawn weeds, especially dandelions and clover.
Decomposers are an important part of an ecosystem. These organisms are in the soil and they help to decompose different organic materials to provide all the basic nutrients to the soil.
These nutrients are essential for the growth of your plants which are the fundamental element of your garden. The decomposers such as fungi, bacteria, insects, and worms break down dead organic matter and help you to deliver all the major organic materials to the soil.
They increase the fertility of the soil and thus you will become able to maintain your soil according to your plants.
DESIGN YOUR GARDEN TO MAKE IT A BETTER ECOSYSTEM
Your garden is a natural ecosystem, make such a design for your garden so wildlife species come and make a home. Most successful gardeners know how to create a natural environment. They adopt the most sustainable gardening methods for this purpose.
ADD VERTICAL STRUCTURE TO YOUR GARDEN
If you prefer a vertical structure for your garden it will provide more space for wildlife. Vertical structures such as trellis help to maintain your plants. There are many benefits of these structures as they provide air to your climbing plants.
Harvesting becomes very easy if your climbing plants spread on the ground then you can’t manage them easily. Keep in your mind that small plants and shrubs provide shelter for beneficial insects and small birds.
Read More: 10 Best Trellis Ideas For Vertical Gardening
TALLER TREES ATTRACT VISITORS
If you have larger trees in your garden, they will attract visitors such as mammals and birds. Trees like conifers, acacias, and eucalyptus are a good shelter for insects such as bees and wasps.
Insects like to make nests in deadwood. But the interesting thing is that 75% of bee species like to dig their nest in the ground. In a small garden, landscape composition easily influences wildlife.
INCLUDE A POND TO CATCH AND KEEP RAINWATER FOR ANIMALS
You can attract wildlife to your ecosystem by creating a backyard pond. I know it is not a simple task as a pond in an ecosystem consists of many different levels for creating an ecosystem pond does not simply fill the pond with water.
Bacteria, algae, insects, amphibians, fish, and birds are also included in the next level of this pond.
PLANT HEDGES TO PROTECT FROM ANIMALS
After constructing a pond you should try to start the life cycle within the pond environment. To start this process fill your pond with a bucket of water from a nearby wild pond.
This water contains many low-level bacterias which your pond will need to start the lifecycle. The higher-level organisms are attracted by these low-level bacteria.
As time passes your pond will become rich with these organisms. Animal such as bacteria, algae, insects, fish, and reptiles like to eat these low-level bacteria.
But the problem you will face the larger animals like mammals and birds also attracted to this pond. To protect your pond from these larger animals you should construct a plant hedge around the pond.
This is your responsibility to protect your ecosystem your little hard work give you a good result.
Compost generally contains materials such as grass clippings, food waste, and leaves. Compost is the source of providing basic organic material to your ecosystem.
The dead leaves and waste food can be used as nutrients for new plants and food for microorganisms. You can also make compost at home or buy it from the market.
If you are creating it at home just simply collect the organic matter and place it into a container like a bottomless wooden crate with a lid. Your container should have alternate layers of wet and dry organic materials.
Microorganisms like bacteria fungi, worms, and other insects will work together and decompose these organic materials and make a healthy compost.
Most people think that insects are not good for the health of their plants and they want to eliminate them from their yards. But they can play an important role in your ecosystem as every organism plays an important part.
In an ecosystem, insects are pollinators as well as a food source for larger organisms. A Garden is a place where all the organisms can live and interact with each other so you should not view it as a sterile environment to be kept clean.
DO NOT DISTURB ANIMALS BY NIGHT
In the backyard ecosystem, there are many nocturnal animals and insects. As you know most of the animals and insects hide themselves during the day, but at night they will come out.
Their day and night cycle depends on life-sustaining behavior like sleeping, feeding, production, and protection. If you use artificial lights then this will disturb them.
So avoid using these artificial lighting during the night hours The other important thing is loud music, you should also avoid loud music during night hours. This will affect the organism of your ecosystem.
This is the reason that urban areas are not suitable for wildlife because they don’t like regular disturbances. Humans can’t maintain a balance and needs of wildlife. They mowed the grassed areas regularly which is not good for pollinators.
Your garden should be a place which is close to nature in this way you can create your ecosystem. You can do it easily. You should grow local plants. Create a pond to encourage wildlife but you should protect a pond from animals by planting hedges.
Use compost to encourage decomposers. Compost will help to provide all the basic nutrients to the soil and your ecosystem will become healthy.
Hope this information will help you to create your ecosystem in your backyard. The tips which are mentioned above are very beneficial in starting a backyard ecosystem.