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Spring planting is for the birds
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As spring arrives, backyard gardeners and landscapers begin the yearly task of beautifying their outdoor environments. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division  recommends that amateur and professional gardeners, regardless of the yard size, consider building a place for wildlife while planning for spring gardens.
Program Manager Jim Ozier says when planting or landscaping for spring, use plants beneficial to wildlife and keep in mind the following tips:
• Plant fruit-producing shrubs like native crabapple, serviceberry, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, dogwoods and wax myrtle. To attract various species of songbirds including cardinals, robins, bluebirds, orioles, brown thrashers and mockingbirds, plant in clumps, clusters or islands. Cover will provide nesting areas for birds and small mammals as well as provide them some shelter from predators and inclement weather.
• Always use caution when using pesticides. Overuse or misuse of lawn chemicals can harm wildlife. Contact the Liberty County Cooperative Extension Service at 876-2133 with questions concerning amounts and types of pesticides to use.
• Create a pool as a birdfeeder and gathering place for wildlife. A pool can be as simple as a small pond or as elaborate as an in-ground reservoir with waterfalls. Also, shallow birdbaths make excellent focal points for any landscaping plans.
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