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    • Bird Academy
      Bird Academy
      Bird_Academy
      Was it challenging to map out your space and figure out what growing conditions you have? Where in your yard do you think you’ll start naturescaping, and why? Share your ideas in the discussion below.
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    • Nancy
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      46er2355
      I have ordered some seed for a pollinator garden from Ernst Conservation Seed.  I plan to convert a mown lawn space into a pollinator garden, starting with a space that's about 8' x 4' and expanding over several years.  I would also like to put up a deer fence to protect some of the wild raspberry bushes to save them for the birds.
    • Jennifer
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      supersunce
      I have started a partial shade meadow in our backyard.  The big challenge has been garlic mustard weed, which outstrips every other plant.  My husband has been “mowing” with the trimmer, and I hope my seeds will come through.  It is a 4y year endeavour and we are in year 1.  I have planted a number of native understory trees and bushes, like elderberry, mountain laurel, wit hazel, etc.  Wandering around out there, I came upon Jack in the pulpit and I have been nursing them along. on the upside, I have found a downy woodpecker nest.  That was pretty exciting!  There are a number of snags back there, so we’ll see who else shows up.  I really like the song birds at my feeders, and I am not sure they will be happy about owls, but it would be neat to hear them.  I printed some of the birdhouse plans and hope to work on that this winter.
      • Jim
        Participant
        Chirps: 19
        Jim Fuehrmeyer
        One good thing about Garlic Mustard is that it pulls up easily.  I learned about it last year when I started volunteering to do "maintenance" at our local Audubon Bird Sanctuary. One day I filled two dozen large garbage bags with them.  Some were nearly five feet tall.  But the folks who taught me explained that GM is a bi-annual so any seeds that sprout this year don't flower and generate new seeds until next year.  So in my own yard last year, I concentrated on pulling all those in flower.  This spring I did the same - and pulled them from the neighbor's yard too. I expect going forward I'll have many fewer to pull - only seeds that blow in from someplace else. From the Audubon Society folks I also learned about and got rid of the Amur Honeysuckle, Oriental Bittersweet, Creeping Charlie, White Clover, and a few others.  With the room to grow and get sun,  this year I found three Jack-in-the-Pulpit plants and the open space that used to hold all the GM is now filled with native Virginia Creeper.  I'm feeling pretty good about what I've been doing so far.
    • Christopher
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      goldeagle Kroll
      Currently I'm collecting native plants to redo the flower bed in the front yard. Along with this remodel I will be removing lawn. There is also a water feature in that area. In addition I plan on remodeling order bed by removing invasives and replacing negatives.
    • LAURA
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      cleozbirdz
      I am excited to start a small native plant patch with a birdbath to help attract additional species. The biggest problem we have is our "soil," which is really just clay and rocks.
      • Jennifer
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        supersunce
        I feel your pain.  I am gradually adding mulch to our clay, year by year, yard by yard.  It is beginning to show a difference, and it is worth it.  I read that clay soil is very nutritious, so if we can just lighten it up a bit, it will be great for plants.
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