Building a lizard habitat for your Organic Garden.
Lizards make great pest control agents, and anything that controls pests in an organic is a plus to gardeners. This project actually uses everyday objects that I found around the garden, all of which would likely be thrown out and contribute to the landfill. Instead, I have repurposed these items and thus added a green aspect to this project. Some of this junk that would otherwise become landfill material let me use my creativity to improve organic gardening, benefit lizards, and best of all was really frugal. For less than $20, (plants) this project adds a tremendous amount of value and benefits the environment and the ecosystem. What could be better than a challenge that helps the environment, involves organic gardening and benefits lizards.
- Evaluate the space:
- Evaluate the supplies:
- Evaluate the needs:
- Assemble the project:
Why build a lizard habitat in your garden?
Lizards are beneficial guests to gardens. They eat a variety of insects, and they are entertaining to watch. Inviting lizards to the garden is a healthy and exciting way to add insect control to your organic garden. Lizards and Amphibians are also important indicator creatures. Their presence indicates a very healthy environment. Their decline indicates environmental pollution and harmful chemicals which help to alter us to environmental problems. In an organic garden, insects, lizards, and amphibians are all beneficial.
What Is A Lizard Habitat?
A lizard habitat is basically a place that is suited to sustain lizards through their life-cycle. As such, A lizard habitat has certain basic needs that should be met if the organic gardener is hoping to attract lizards to their garden.
A lizard habitat has several basic needs. Lizards need a place that provides shelter from predators and basking areas where they can display and soak up the sun. They need spaces that provide safety and hiding spots that will protect them from predators. This means small body-sized crawl spaces that they can squeeze themselves into. A lizard habitat should also be self contained. There should be food and water. In a garden, this means providing a spot that is somewhat wild with a freedom for unchecked plant growth. Lizards do not like to be disturbed. They also do not tolerate any kind of regular disturbance to their environment. The goal is to let them be so that they feel comfortable enough to lay eggs and populate your garden. They are a free form of pest control, invite them to work.
An important aspect of a lizard habitat is that lizards are very dependent on their surroundings. If the habitat is destroyed or tampered with too much, the lizards may find themselves without a suitable environment. Most lizards can not survive long without a proper environment. Lizards are also territorial and displaced lizards will find it very difficult to find new territories. So once you build a habitat for them, let them be.
What kinds of material can be used to build a lizard habitat?
Most anything that is not toxic can be used to build a lizard habitat. Physically, lizards like warm and humid environments. Materials that create warm and humid conditions, or that help to contain warm and humid environments work well to attract lizards to habitats. Lizards also need a food source so materials that attract insects make great additions to a lizard habitat. Lizards like to move up and down and throughout their environments. This means that a lizard habitat should be designed to be vertical as well as horizontal. Because this is also a garden, the habitat should be attractive to the gardener.
Potential Building Supply List:
- Rocks, Pieces of Cement, Concrete.
- Lumber (untreated) logs, Limbs from trees, etc.
- Corrugated metals can work well too.
- Flower pots, buckets, ceramic decorations (lawn gnome) planters.
- Plant choices for a lizard habitat
Vines, succulents, native plants (works best) ground covers, fruit-bearing plants such as strawberries, blueberries, etc. Lizards sometimes like a serving of fruit. Fruit also attracts insects, and both are a food source for lizards.
A water source. Nothing fancy a small terracotta dish, like a pet dish, works well.
Where To Situate The Lizard Habitat
Situating the Habitat
The lizard habitat should be situated in a place that gets plenty of sun and wont be to damaged by severe weather. Lizards prefer quieter places so that they can bask in the sun undisturbed. They also are slow hunters and active locations tend to chase off their prey.
Putting It All Together
Gather all of your supplies and mix your soil. Arrange the materials so that it forms little beds. These beds will be where the plants will go. Plants should produce flowers so that they will attract insects. Choose plants that will not become too large or they will take over the habitat. The goal is to hide the “seams” of the habit without taking over the whole structure. Add the soil to the beds. Plant the plants, and water them. It is just that simple.
For me, this project is a success. It will take some time to see if the lizards find this a place they want to call home. It is more in the open than what I wanted, but this is the price that is paid when working on a project in a small space. The plants are all succulents so they will not need a lot of watering. They should also drape down and help to cover the “seams” of the habitat. The board is actually important. It provides a vertical element with a bit of safety for the lizards. They will use the underside of the board to hide from predators such as birds. The board is also full of termites, and this will prove to be a good source of food for smaller lizards. I think I will give this habitat some time to grow and see how it does. I hope that you have enjoyed this hub, and I would encourage any of you to try this at home.