How to Make a Frog Habitat That Protects Against SlugsColin Campbell-Preston
Frogs, toads, and newts are hugely beneficial garden creatures, which feed on a wide range of insects, spiders, and small invertebrate animals, including many garden pests such as slugs.
But, thanks to factors such as habitat loss, pollution, and introduced species, frogs are now under threat worldwide.
The good news is, there are several things you can do to help their survival and help keep your garden slug-free at the same time – and you don’t even need a pond!
Here’s our guide to creating a safe and welcoming den for frogs and toads in your garden…
What you’ll need
To create your frog habitat, you’ll need:
- Old bricks or large stones
- Builders ballast
- Cut-off twigs and branches
- Wildflower seeds
Building your frog den
- Choose your location – Before you can start creating your frog habitat, you’ll need to identify a suitable location in your garden. The spot will need to be able to accommodate a hole in the ground about 30–45cm deep, and will ideally be somewhere shaded or semi-shaded. And don’t worry if you haven’t got a pond – this is just an added bonus!
- Dig your hole – Once you’ve chosen your location, it’s time to start digging your hole – this needs to be round with a flat bottom. Once the hole is big enough, fill it with the rubble and logs you’ve managed to collect, making sure that the bricks and rocks are nice and stable to ensure they won’t collapse and crush the frogs. At the same time, you don’t want to pack everything too tightly – think of it as an underground maze with lots of narrow corridors winding down into the pile.
- Continue piling up the material – Don’t stop once you reach ground level, keep piling the logs and rubble up into a low mound.
- Cap it off – Cover the rubble and logs with some builders ballast, before piling the soil you dug out back over the top. Make sure you leave plenty of gaps around the edges so there’s plenty of ways for the frogs to get in and out of their new den.
- Finishing touches – Add some branches and twigs around the edges and top of your frog den for camouflage. You can also sprinkle wildflower seeds over the top and around the sides to keep it damp and sheltered.
- Maintain your den – Over time, rain and gravity will naturally push some of the soil back down into the holes. Keep checking up on your new frog habitat and, after a few seasons, it might be time to start thinking about building a new one.
Getting to know your new guests
Once your frog habitat is in place, why not venture down there in the evening to meet your new guests? The best time to catch a glimpse of your visitors is on a damp spring or summer evening – make sure you take a torch!
For more help and guidance, why not pop down to one of Capital Gardens’ three store locations – each one is full of our helpful Plant People who know a thing or two about making their back garden a haven for visiting animals.