Image by Noah Sussman
By Jackie Carroll
Whimsical as well as practical, a toad house makes a charming addition to the garden. Toads consume 100 or more insects and slugs every day, so a toad house makes a great gift for a gardener who is fighting the battle of the bug. While you can always choose to purchase a toad house for the garden, they actually cost very little to make, and building a toad house is simple enough for even the youngest family members to enjoy.
How to Make a Toad House
You can make a garden toad house from a plastic food container or a clay or plastic flowerpot. When deciding what to use as a toad house, keep in mind that plastic containers are free and easy to cut, but clay pots are cooler in the heat of summer.
If you plan to decorate your toad house with children, make sure you use a washable paint. Washable paint adheres to clay better than it does to plastic. Once you have decorated the container, you are ready to set up your toad house.
DIY Toad Houses
You have two options for setting up a toad house made from a clay pot. The first method is to lay the pot horizontally on the ground and bury the lower half in the soil. The result is a toad cave. The second option is to set the pot upside on a circle of rocks. Make an entryway by removing a couple of rocks.
When using a plastic container, cut an entryway into the plastic and place the container upside down onto the soil. Place a rock on top, or if the container is large enough, sink it down into the soil an inch or two to keep it in place.
A toad house for the garden needs a shady location, preferably under a shrub or plant with low-hanging leaves. Make sure there is a source of water nearby. In the absence of a natural water source, sink a small dish into the soil and keep it filled with water at all times.
Quite often, a toad will find the house on its own, but if your house remains empty, you can find a toad instead. Just look in cool, shady woodland areas and along stream banks.
Adding a garden toad house to your planting areas is a great way to entice these insect-eating friends to the area. In addition, it’s a fun activity for the kids.