My mom always had toads and garter snakes in her garden, and I have none. How can I encourage them (or what should I stop doing that might be discouraging them?)
First of all, you shouldn't use any chemicals in your yard. Second of all, probably a big draw would be a water feature of some sort......like a small watergarden. I would also supply alot of plants (including weeds), and cool places for them in the summers. And then be careful with the lawn mower! (or don't use one at all!)
Catherine, thanks! What about spraying individual sick plants or hitting individual weeds with roundup? That's my normal method. I use an organic gardening stuff for my lawn -- is that okay? Unfortunately we have a mowing service, and they ride around at top speed on those huge mowers. There are sections of the yard that aren't mowed, though. I could possibly add a water feature in one of those areas.
Re: the water feature. Would one that isn't in the ground be of any help? One of those ponds-that-are-actually-a-tub-of-water-that-stands-on-the-deck kind of things? Or does it need to be something the toads can hop into and out of and such, something at ground level?
What about garter snakes? Are the two mutually exclusive?
I have both in my big yard but I do think that garder snakes eat toads.
My husband built a pond with a small stream. I have more garter snakes than I would like. They love the water and I sometimes see 3-4 at a time by the pond. Kimpa is right, the snakes will eat toads. I think it would be best if the water feature was at ground level.
I have plenty of Little Brown Snakes that are native to N.J.(they have a herringbone pattern along their back). They appeared when I used a totally organic approach, including mulch, compost and fertilizers. I also bordered the garden with rocks which is where I usually find them, curled up underneath. I'm sure not over tiding the garden, waiting to cut plants down till the spring and provding brush piles and other hiding places helps.
Good luck , I know I was thrilled when I saw my first snake in the garden.
I would not be thrilled to see any snake in my backyard! Garter snakes and many others eat frogs and toads. I love my frogs and toads. Also I do not want to be biten or even see a (bad) one. You bring water to ground level and they will be there. Toads come to water as do frogs when it is breeding time to lay eggs. Toads have a necklace of black eggs in jelly and frogs have a (ball) of jelly and brown eggs. Dig a small pond or even a bird bath -somewhat deep to allow for this and you will get them. Good luck. molly