Turf grasses do not provide a good source of food or habitat for most types of wildlife, according to Kathy Basque of Delta Tree Farms, who spoke at the January meeting of the Lodi Garden Club.
Not only that, but lawns have less than 10 percent of the water-absorbing capacity of natural woodlands, thus contributing to suburban flooding. And lawn watering uses 30 to 60 percent of urban fresh water.
To cut down on water, pesticides and pollution from lawnmowers, and to make a yard more hospitable to birds, bees, butterflies and small animals like toads and lizards, replace lawns with native vegetation. Most nurseries can provide lists of plants that attract butterflies, hummingbirds and bees, among other animals.
Also, reduce or replace pesticides, manage household pets so wildlife doesn’t get exterminated, provide bat houses and bird feeders, provide fresh drinking water, and increase the number of plants that fill in space between the ground and the bottoms of tree canopies.
In a world that is becoming increasingly dangerous to all kinds of wildlife, this relatively easy way to sustain and protect some of the smaller garden inhabitants is really everyone’s obligation.