How to Keep a Healthy Ecosystem in Your Backyard
Ecosystems are a complex interaction between organisms and the physical environment. When healthy, the components within the ecosystem work in a natural harmony with one another, resulting in an environment where life can thrive. While much of the natural ecosystem is disrupted by human activity, you can preserve a natural, healthy ecosystem in your backyard.
Grow Native Plants
Plants that are native to your area have evolved to suit the climate. As such, they are uniquely capable of thriving in your backyard when compared to other plant life. They also help support a healthy ecosystem by attracting insects and animal life that rely on those plants for food, shelter, or other needs. Native plants tend to be hardier and more resistant to common plant diseases. As an added benefit, they can help you cut back on your water consumption. Since they are suited to the local conditions, they are more likely to be able to survive on the water that is naturally available through the environment.
While native plants can promote a healthy ecosystem in your backyard, other plants can threaten it. Invasive plants can easily take over your yard, pulling water and essential nutrients away from the plants you want to thrive. They may crowd or strangle plants as well. There are many common weeds that can sprout in your yard if you don’t take preventive measures. Mulching can help prevent weeds by smothering and inhibiting them. It also can help prevent them from germinating. If the weeds have grown past the point where mulching would be helpful, digging them out by hand is another option. Make sure you get the whole plant—roots and all.
Manage Garden Pests
Insects and animal life are a normal, natural part of a healthy ecosystem. Some insects are harmful to plants though. Fortunately, you can manage these garden pests by inviting their natural predators into your ecosystem. Ladybugs like to eat aphids, for example. Attracting native avian wildlife can also help you with bug problems. Remember, the whole point is to create a balanced ecosystem. That means balancing plants with insects and other wildlife to create an environment that is capable of managing itself in many ways.
If you want to have a healthy ecosystem in your backyard, there are some things you can do to support this. Grow plants native to your area and prevent invasive weeds from taking hold. Take steps to manage garden pests too. This will help support a natural, healthy ecosystem that thrives in your backyard.
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