Gardening for Wildlife forum: Brush piles and brush fences.

Views: 252, Replies: 3 » Jump to the end
Name: Annie
Waynesboro, PA (Zone 6a)
Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry
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LysmachiaMoon
Jun 24, 2014 6:31 AM CST
This is my own private "crusade" for wildlife. I think that everybody who has a garden should have at least a small brush pile tucked away somewhere. If you have a big property, consider making a brush "fence." I have a 2 acre garden; the upper 1/3 is untouched grass/trees for wildlife and I have a big long brush fence to divide it from the lower property. Just neatly piled up brush (prunings, fallen branches, etc.) laid on the ground and left alone. I've been adding to this "fence" for years and years and the funny thing is it gets longer but it never gets much taller.....the lower layers just settle and naturally compost into the soil. I am amazed by how much good this has done....it acts as a wind break, it shades the soil and acts as a natural moisture "sink", it provides shelter for both big and small wildlife (deer bed down on one side or the other during the winter, depending on wind direction), the birds love it, it is good protection for small animals to escape predators, it slowly builds the soil under and near it with compost and microorganisms. Yes, some weeds will grow up and through it, especially at first, but if you really don't like that, you can just lop them off where they come up. In nature, heaps and piles of fallen branches are mini ecosystems but in our modern world, these things have disappeared. Compost piles arent the same thing because they are worked and turned and don't provide the undisturbed shelter that brush piles do.
The end is nothing, the journey is all.
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Cat Lover Avid Green Pages Reviewer Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds
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SongofJoy
Jun 24, 2014 6:34 AM CST
I couldn't agree more. In fact, I wrote a short article on the subject: http://garden.org/ideas/view/SongofJoy/1525/Brush-Piles/

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Annie
Waynesboro, PA (Zone 6a)
Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry
Image
LysmachiaMoon
Jun 24, 2014 8:36 AM CST
Thanks Joy! Yes indeedy, brush fences/brush piles are a wonderful thing!
The end is nothing, the journey is all.
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Cat Lover Avid Green Pages Reviewer Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds
Image
SongofJoy
Jun 24, 2014 10:52 AM CST
Thumbs up
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller

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