Most organic polytunnel gardeners understand the importance of creating a wildlife friendly garden. Wildlife helps us in our organic gardening efforts in a range of different ways. But what we may not always consider is how wildlife friendly gardening practices will not only help us in the short term, but also offer long-lasting benefits and be a major boon in the long run. Let’s take a look at how exactly having a wildlife friendly garden will help us not just immediately, but also long term.
The Long-Lasting Benefits of Biodiversity in A Wildlife Friendly Garden
When we go about taking measures to attract wildlife to our gardens, we are working towards the creation of a more biodiverse ecosystem. Wildlife can pollinate our crops, deter pests and much, much more, but there is also a general, long-term benefit to making a wider range of creatures visiting or living in our gardens, in and around our polytunnels. Biodiversity means:
- A more resilient ecosystem, better able to withstand shocks or overcome problems.
- A greater number of beneficial interactions between plants and animals, which leads to greater stability in the system and greater functionality in a garden.
- A more balanced ecosystem, where pest species are naturally kept in check and no one species is likely to dominate.
What is more, the biodiversity of a wildlife friendly garden can also be a joy to human inhabitants. Over time, we can enjoy watching wildlife and learning about their lives, watching as our garden’s population alters and as the range of creatures grows.
The Benefits of a Healthy Soil Ecosystem in a Wildlife Friendly Garden
A healthy, organic garden will show improvement in biodiversity and function over time, but not all the long-term benefits of a wildlife friendly organic garden will be visible to us. One of the major benefits of gardening in an eco-friendly and organic way is that life will thrive all around your garden – most crucially, perhaps, in the soil beneath your feet.
Maintaining no-dig gardening practices, and taking care of the topsoil in your polytunnel and in all your growing areas, is one of the most important things you can do to ensure that your garden remains healthy and productive for many years to come.
Though we cannot see many of them, living creatures below the soil are part of the soil web, the sub-soil ecosystem that makes it possible for plants to grow. These creatures too are amongst the beneficiaries in a wildlife friendly garden. Caring for them, long-term, will allow you to maintain and even improve the yield of edible and useful plants from your garden and this idea is at the heart of sustainable gardening practice.
Check our our guides and articles to learn more about creating a wildlife friendly space, and let us know how what wildlife you have attracted to your garden, and how, in the comments below.
Originally posted 2018-09-10 15:38:43.
Elizabeth Waddington is a writer and green living consultant living in Scotland. Permaculture and sustainability are at the heart of everything she does, from designing gardens and farms around the world, to inspiring and facilitating positive change for small companies and individuals.
She also works on her own property, where she grows fruit and vegetables, keeps chickens and is working on the eco-renovation of an old stone barn.