Posts tagged backyard conservation
Our Backyard Chickens
Have you met my chickens?  We have two Rhode Island Reds, and one Barred Rock (aka Plymouth Rock).  Our chickens have a fenced-in coop area in the corner of our yard, but most days we let them out into the full backyard for a little while so they can scratch around for some bugs and seeds. 

Chickens are hilarious, and it's really easy to take care of them.  I highly recommend them--plus, you get eggs!  This summer, we plan on building a better coop for them, and maybe even getting one or two more chickens. Our town only allows households to have up to six hens, but I'd love to have a little more space one day to have even more.

We also raise mealworms and give them to the chickens as treats.  They get really excited and run to us when we bring out "the box."  The chickens even will even jump to grab the worms!

Would you ever have backyard chickens?  Do you have chickens already?
Make a Toad Home for Your Backyard
So, it finally feels like Spring around here!  Spring at my home means it's time to garden.  I probably don't have to tell you this, but gardening, whether it's growing your own food or pretty plants, is so good for many reasons.  You're growing your own, healthy food, which means you're probably cutting back on buying produce that travels hundreds of miles to reach your grocery store.  You're putting nutrients back into the Earth.  Landscaping, especially with plants native to your region, is also important for your local environment.

But let's not forget about the critters that live in your yard and garden. You can make homes for them and encourage helpful critters to stick around. If you're lucky, you can get a toad or two to take up residence in your yard and help you keep the populations of insects, centipedes and slugs in check. Who wouldn't want that? ;)

So, today I'm showing you how to make a Toad Abode for your backyard! 

Here's what I used:

I've had these vintage trays that belonged to my great great aunt that I thought would be perfect for this project--so cheery and floral!  Using a tray like this has some advantages.  First, if you are trying to attract an amphibian like a toad or frog, they're going to need their home to be somewhat moist.  A tray will help collect and retain moisture. Using a tray also makes your toad abode easily movable in case you need to change locations.

Building your toad abode is super simple. Turn your broken pots upside down.  Layer rocks.  Have fun with different layouts and substrates.  I used peat moss and not dirt because it holds moisture better. 

Toad approved?  I think so!

Here's another example:

Place them in a safe spot away from pets, like a garden fence corner...

...or nestled among some ground cover. 

You'll need to make sure that whatever substrate you choose to use stays moist. Just give it a squirt with a spray bottle every now and then.

There are so many possibilities.  You can even decorate your pots with weatherproof paint or sharpies.  Maybe drawing little flies on your pot will attract more toads...

Have fun!