What is Rewilding?
Rewilding is a technique that people adopt to restore their garden or lawn to being as close as possible to the way nature would have it. Rewilding entails tending your garden in such a way that it can support both animal and insect life. It may include relinquishing much of the customary gardening management and refraining from harming the soil. This rewilding of your garden can be seen as a way to re-introducing the ecology of an area.
The techniques of rewilding can be used in any garden or lawn, and there are many benefits from rewilding them such as: re-establishing natural ecosystems; providing sustainable landscapes capable of adapting to climate change; supporting native biodiversity; reducing run-off and soil erosion; increasing carbon storage and filtering pollutants out of water.
Rewilding may include re-fertilizing depleted soils, managing for effects such as pest control and erosion reduction, and reforesting areas where trees have been removed.
Rewilding a garden may also improve the aesthetics of your space while also allowing you to feel more connected to the natural world.
A Natural Ecosystem
Rewilding your garden should be seen as re-introducing the ecology of where your garden is situated. You can rewild by planting native flowers and vegetables that are not only attractive to animals but also beneficial for them to eat. By doing this, you will be providing food sources for animals, such as birds and bees, while protecting your plants at the same time.
Native plants provide shelter for winged creatures, like butterflies and moths, who fly around fertilizing other flowers along with their host plant; this activity provides nectar for honeybees, which benefits both bee and man alike. Wildflowers and organic vegetables provide food for many different types of birds and insects.
Rewilding The Soil
It is important to rewild your soil in order to rewild your garden. You will want to add organic compost, such as rotted leaves and grass clippings, or animal manure, into the soil. These will add valuable nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium which plants need in order to survive.
Rewilding gardens re-introduces healthy bacteria back into the soil while protecting it from future damage like erosion or runoff (like what happens when you water a garden with fertilizer). It values biodiversity and natural processes. While rewilding gardens re-introduces a healthy community, rewilding the soil re-introduces a healthy ecosystem.
No More Chemicals
In order to rewild one’s garden, you must abandon use of pesticides or chemicals that would eventually poison the soil after extended use. Any fertilizer falls into this category. This is due to the fact that, although insecticides kill pests, they may also kill beneficial insects. It is important to replace these chemicals with other options in order for rewilding to work successfully.
Chemical-free gardens are safer for pets
You will also want to avoid using any weed killers and instead let the weeds grow alongside your plants as they would naturally. Many weeds, such as dandelions, are actually beneficial, assisting to protect the soil from erosion while also aiding in the retention of water in the earth.
Natural Control of Pests
While it was historically typical to think of insects in a garden as the kind of nuisance you wanted to get rid of as quickly as possible, research has shown that insects are frequently more useful to plants than they are harmful.
Even so-called pests may be useful to a garden’s natural equilibrium. Some pests can be kept under control by rewilding without the need for pesticides. Other insects or animals may take advantage of the pest’s presence as a food source. Nature, when left to its own resources, has a tendency to restore it’s own equilibrium.
Another strategy for ensuring success when rewilding a garden is to include insect habitats. As an added benefit of creating an environment for helpful insects, they will automatically take care of the insects that might otherwise destroy your plants. Fallen logs, branches, or a wood stack may be used to provide shelters for these insects, many of which can be beneficial to your garden.
By rewilding your garden, you are re-establishing a healthy community by reintegrating animals back into their environment where they belong. This will allow them to find shelter and food sources, while also giving them a way to better adapt to climate change. Rewilding reintegrates these animals into the area as a part of a healthy ecosystem.
In addition to this rewilding benefit, reintegrating wildlife could be useful environmentally since it may help minimize problems caused by invasive species that damage ecosystems by competing with native flora and fauna for resources. In other words, animals that naturally used to occupy an area might prove helpful in rewilding your garden by simply re-establishing the communities that once were there.
The Birds and the Bees
Allowing bumblebees to re-hatch and re-establish the bee population in your garden could be essential to rewilding, as bees are responsible for dispersing seeds and nectar, which helps maintain a healthy diversity of plants. Without these little creatures doing their part, many plant species would die off because they may not have been able to reproduce.
Rewilding also entails keeping an eye out for the food requirements of any birds that could come to visit or create a nest in your garden.
A bird bath filled with fresh water is a great way to attract birds.
Bird feeders, which you can fill with bird seed, may be used to care for your feathered friends, but you can also utilize food that you consume yourself to feed them. These include goods such as apples or raisins, among other things. You may use the seeds from pumpkins or squash. Keep in mind, if the food has been produced organically, birds are likely to consume it. Aside from that, the birds will also consume hazardous insects, which may cause damage to a garden.
As rewilding takes place, it starts to re-enact the environmental changes that would have occurred if humans were not around. You may even notice bees or butterflies coming up from areas where they have not been seen in many years because rewilding has helped to bring back their habitat.
Rewilding Takes Time
Rewilding is generally not something that can be done overnight. One has to have the commitment necessary in order to rewild their garden. Rewilding requires hard work and patience because it will take time for plants and animals to fully re-establish themselves into your soil.
The Rewilded Garden
Rewilding your garden includes removing all chemicals, naturalizing plants so they do not require chemicals or fertilizer, creating an environment for insects, wildlife, and birds, and re-introducing native plants. Rewilding re-introduces important genes into the ecosystem, re-introduces natural control processes, re-introduces habitat for animals, re-introduces food sources for animals, and re-enacts the changes that would have occurred if humans were not around.
This rewilding of your garden can come with many benefits that go beyond what you initially expect; rewilding offers an opportunity for people to connect more with nature, reducing stress levels and increasing overall happiness levels, along with many others which are hard to predict.
Rewilding your garden does require some up front effort but gives back so much more than expected in the long run!
Image source and for more on rewilding, visit GardeningEtc.com