Frogs are one of nature’s wonders.
The gardeners friend, these carnivorous amphibians will eat all manner of mini-beasts, including slugs and snails.
However in recent years frogs have become rarer, as our modern gardens and growing expanses of tarmac have made life ever more difficult for frogs. These days, just seeing one can be a thrill.
So while there’s no way to guarantee you’ll attract frogs, there are some handy tips that will significantly increase your odds…
Ground Cover Plants
As amphibians, frogs struggle with hot, dry weather. With skin that needs to be kept moist at all times, there’s little worse for a frog than a “standard” modern garden of expansive grass, patio and decking. Instead, they need places to hide away in the hottest part of the day, safe in the moist shade.
The first step to attracting frogs into your garden is therefore to manufacture as much of this ideal habitat as possible. Selecting an area of your garden where you can grow a range of ground-covering plants can be a great first step. It goes without saying that the larger this area, and the more dense the planting arrangement, the more appealing it will likely be to frogs.
Many people think of frogs as aquatic creatures; they remember seeing frogs bobbing about in ponds on hot summer days, or the thrill of catching tadpoles in a glass jar.
The truth, however, is that frogs spend most of the year out of water, generally only relying on it to breed.
That said, installing a naturalistic pond in your garden – especially if surrounded by dense plant cover – can act as a real magnet for frogs. Even better, if you can encourage frogs to start breeding in your pond then you’ll find them returning year after year for the same purpose.
The key here is that your pond should be as natural as possible. We’re not talking about a barren landscape of clear, filtered water nut more like something from nature. Feel free to include aquatic plants, and make sure its easy for frogs to get in and out.
Frogs feed mainly on invertebrates, but they’re not overly fussy on the type. Anything from earthworms to butterflies will serve as a suitable diet for frogs. Putting some thought into how you can attract more insects into your garden can therefore serve to make it even more attractive to frogs.
This is another reason why having a pond – which many insects use for breeding purposes – can be useful. However nectar-rich flowers such as buddleia can also serve to draw in invertebrates, and as an extension, frogs.
Lastly, most frogs hibernate during the coldest months of winter. To do so, they like to tuck themselves away beneath rocks or piles of logs. Supplementing your little “wildlife areas” with a rockery or a few log piles can also help to keep frogs in your garden for longer.
As you can see, attracting frogs to your garden needn’t be too difficult. The key is to consider the elements that frogs need for survival, and then providing these in abundance. Setting aside a small part of your garden for a pond, surrounded by dense plant cover that attracts insects, is probably the most effective strategy for all for supporting these fantastic animals.
Do you have frogs? What do you do to attract them? Please leave your experiences in the comments section below…