Gardening has a habit of encouraging many different species into the garden but attracting toads is not something that would seem to be very appealing to most gardeners. However, there are advantages to encouraging toads into your garden and there are numerous gardening tips to encourage them to do so.
Benefits Of Toads In The Garden
Toads thrive on insects and they can eat literally thousands. Therefore, they are a very useful alternative to using gardening pesticides to protect your vegetables or if you are a keen organic gardener. But how do you get them to come into your garden? Well, firstly, it’s important to draw the distinction between ‘letting’ them come into your garden and ‘bringing’ them in from outside. You should never remove toads (or any other creatures for that matter) from their own natural habitat. Instead, if you want to encourage toads into your garden, the way to do it is to create the right kind of environment for them. Trees, rocks and logs are obvious attractions to toads because they’ll offer moisture.
Building A Pond To Attract Toads To Your Garden
Toads are amphibious creatures which mean that they live on land and in water. Water and moisture are essential for toads so the obvious way to attract them to your garden is to install a pond. Unlike frogs, however, some of which will spend winter deep underwater, a pond specifically designed to attract toads need only be shallow as they spend the winter on land and only need shallow water for when it’s the breeding season.
Surrounding Your Pond
In addition to the pond, you need to make sure that it’s easy for a toad to get into and out of it and you also need to pay attention to the surrounding vegetation. Good gardening tips to ensure that you plant the correct vegetation and plants is to visit a nearby local wetland to find out what is growing there. After all, this is where the toads are likely to have come from in the first place.
The thing to remember is to ensure that toads always have access to moisture when you’re gardening. This is especially important in the summer months where a toad will smell out the nearest moist patch and will burrow down into the cool, moist earth in order to protect its body. Therefore, placing logs, rocks and plants around your pond and garden under which toads can seek out moisture and refuge from the sun, will create an ideal environment to attract toads.
You could also create your own ‘toad home’ when gardening by digging a hole in the earth in a shaded area of your garden, ideally close to the shade from trees and then place a plastic plant pot over the top of it. Into that, you could periodically put in some well-rotted leaves which you’ve left soaking in water and then put a small rock over the top to keep the pot in place. This would make an ideal refuge for toads. The pot should have a hole in the top so that, in extremely hot weather, you can pour in some cold water now and again to keep the ground below moist. You can also buy actual toad houses instead of using a plant pot. Letting part of your garden grow a little wild which will create piles of leaves and other foliage will also offer sanctuary to toads. However, it’s also important to remember to be very careful when gardening if you’re mowing the garden and to ensure that you do not mow those areas beneath which a toad may be resting.
So, before you start shuddering at the thought of having toads in your garden, just remember that it’s not only insects they keep at bay but they’ll also eat even more unwelcome pests such as slugs, snails and mosquitoes which has to be a far healthier alternative to using pesticides.