New house owner
I bought a home with a half acre with a dozen trees, mostly oaks. Lawn is full of weeds and soil is very poor. A lot of shades around the property because trees. I want to make it a habitat for birds and pollinatiors. I’m clueless what to do about this. Where do I start and how to avoid mistakes. Would like to have someone come over and draw a plan.
"The Woods in Your Backyard" is an excellent program for homeowners just like you. You can buy the guide that walks you through creating and enhancing your natural areas, or you can take the course which includes the guide. Very reasonable.
Here is the link for the course: https://extension.umd.edu/woodland/woods-your-backyard/sharing-program
and the guide: https://extension.umd.edu/news/woods-your-backyard-guide-now-second-edition
Meanwhile, on our website we have loads of information under our Learn section, in Earth Friendly.
One of the biggest mistakes that new woods owners make is to "clear" the area of what may look like undesirable plants but turn out to be valuable native plants.Be sure to identify plants before you remove. Of course, many may we invasive or weed plants and definitely need to go. But - If you aren't sure what something is, we'd be glad to identify it for you. Just send us one of these emails, with up to 3 photos at a time as many times as you like.
Another great resource is the online publication, "Native Plants for Wildlife Habitat and Conservation Landscaping", which has photos for all plants by categories, in an easy chart format.
Hope we can help you out as you dive into this adventure!