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Attracting Wildlife to Your Back Yard

A Guide to Increasing Wildlife Diversity and Aesthetic Value Around Your Home

Landscape Planning
5. Maintaining Your Plan


5. MAINTAINING YOUR PLAN

Maintenance is the most important part of a new landscaping plan and could make the difference between success and failure.

New shrub and tree plantings should be watered sufficiently after planting. A weed barrier material, wood chips or tilling should be used during the initial years to get plants going. Don't be surprised if little growth takes place the first couple of years. This is normal, especially with slow growing species.

As discussed with native grass and wildflower plantings, site preparation and the proper control of unwanted grasses and weeds after planting is crucial. Take the time to pull weeds by hand, babying the site for the first few years.

Other components such as feeders, nest boxes and ponds will also require maintenance annually. Preparing an annual maintenance plan could be a family activity and distribute the duties to make less work for one person.

NOXIOUS WEEDS

Noxious weeds are of particular concern within both rural and urban settings. They can be native species but most often are exotics introduced from other areas. Unlike most plants that fill a small, specific niche within a habitat, these can quickly spread taking over habitat used by wildlife for food and cover.

Recognizing these species is the key to their control. If they are found on your property, you should take steps to eliminate them. Also, notifying neighbors of their presence and educating them about damages they cause may help get them under control. State regulations actually mandate the removal of noxious species by the landowner.

The following are three of the more commonly occurring species that must be controlled:
Other noxious weeds requiring control are: Absinth wormwood, Canada thistle, Hemp, hoary cress, Musk thistle, Perennial sowthistle, Russian knapweed, and Spotted knapweed. More information on weeds and their control can be obtained through County Weed Officers, NDSU County Extension Agents, USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service District Conservationists and local nurseries and greenhouses.


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