Guest post by Jeriann Watkins
There are a few different reasons you might want frogs and toads in your garden. They do a great job of keeping bugs away. They’re fun to watch after rainstorms when they hop in puddles and through wet grass. They serenade you to sleep at night (ok, that may be a bad thing, depending on whether you like croaky serenades).
As much as you may like frogs and want them in your yard, you should never take it on yourself to place them there. Frogs do not do well when removed from their habitats. Also, you want to be sure that your garden is home to native species, not invasive ones that will do more to harm your private ecosystem than help.
The best way to attract any wildlife to your garden is to emulate what the land would do itself. Trees, shrubs, bushes, and vegetation that would normally grow in your area are most likely to attract native insects, which will in turn attract frogs and toads.
To the human eye, frogs are pretty unassuming. Some people don’t like the slimy appearance. Whatever your opinion, you probably don’t see them as vicious. But they are fierce predators with large appetites, so if you have the environment and the bugs, they will come.
Choose plants that retain moisture and offer shade. Frogs love cool damp environments, mostly out of necessity. Mulch and compost piles are also great for attracting frogs. They’re a).moist b). full of bugs and c).dark.
There are a lot of plants that are poisonous to frogs. If you have a vegetable garden, you’ll want to avoid planting these items near your pond or areas where frogs are likely to congregate:
Eggplant, Rhubarb, Snowpeas, Potatoes
For landscaping and flower gardens, you’ll want to avoid:
Honeysuckle, Azalea, Hydrangea, Daffodils, Hyacinth
For more info, check out this more exhaustive list of plants that are poisonous for amphibians and reptiles.
Frogs and toads are important for the environment, and are great for maintaining healthy eco-systems. While displacing wildlife to improve your garden will always backfire, you can enhance your garden and landscape to attract creatures that do need food sources and shelter. It’s a symbiotic relationship in that you’re helping them so they can help you.