We all have to eat, right? Well that goes for animals to. Anyone who has awoken to find their garbage cans knocked over and the telling signs of raccoon footprints knows that animals are pretty good at locating food to eat. So how do you help your backyard animals have more food available without the messy cleanup of that spilled garbage can?
Food can be provided in many ways. Some will be more labor intensive than others.
Direct feeding: Put out food for the animals. The most well known application of this method is probably a bird feeder. Some people like to put out corn for the squirrels or deer. This method is not without controversy and we will discuss it further in a later post.
Plantings: Trees or bushes that produce seeds, berries or fruits can be excellent sources of food for animals. Annual plants can also be planted and left for the animals. Anyone who has ever had a rabbit, groundhog or deer eat their garden knows what I am referring to.
Releasing: A technique known as releasing can be employed to improve vegetation that is already on your property. If for example you had an old apple tree in your yard that is shaded and no longer produces many apples you would release it by cutting back the trees that are shading the apple and also prune the apple tree to remove and unhealthy parts. If the tree is healthy enough it should begin to produce fruit again with the increased sunlight.
Look for more specifics about each of these techniques in future posts.