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Frogs are one of the most successful species on the planet exploiting every continent except Antarctica. Their evolutionary and winning design has remained unchanged for many millions of years.
Even with extensive deforestation and urban development frogs still eke out a living in our towns and gardens.
Frogs, although beneficial to gardeners can still become victims to garden machinery and chemicals. With modern gardens potentially so dangerous to frogs it is a wonder they exist at all!
However, a surge in enthusiasm for wildlife gardening is making frog friendly gardening and landscaping a growing trend.
After wildlife ponds, frog homes or 'frog caves' are a great way to create frog habitat. Frog homes create great places for frogs to rest, hibernate and hide from predators.
In this article I will explain how to build a frog home for your wildlife garden project. I will include pictures of frog homes I have personally built when creating frog habitats in wildlife gardens.
Why build a frog home?
Frogs are one of the most beneficial creatures for garden lovers and consume most garden pests.
These amphibians come out at night devouring slugs and plant eating insects and invertebrates. Frogs are also an indicator species of a clean and healthy environment.
As frogs have skin which absorbs water, they are extremely sensitive to pollution and toxins. Therefore, making viable frog habitats for them to thrive is holistically very favourable. Frogs need safe places to rest during the day, hibernate and hide from predators.
A frog home or 'frog cave' will provide the perfect, safe, place for them to hide away from harm.
Where should you put a frog home?
As frogs regularly visit ponds to feed and breed wetland habitats are preferred places to locate frog homes. However, it is important to recognise that most of a frog’s time is spent out of water.
Therefore, the best places for frog homes are within dense vegetation and damp places near local ponds.
The best scenario for frogs is to have a series of safe caves and dens around their foraging range.
This will enable them to cover larger areas to feed at night and rest during the day. For larger wildlife garden designs amphibian homes can be situated along green corridors.
What is the best habitat for a frog?
Most frogs species which live within Europe and North America are extremely adaptable and widespread. However, the best frog habitats are low lying naturalistic areas with dense vegetation.
These will be dispersed with wetland habitats, meadows, scrubland and woodland. Frogs need boggy wetlands to breed and feed as well as dense and diverse plant communities to hide.
Generally suburban gardens are bountiful places for frogs as they provide a good mixture of habitat types.
Can I create a frog home in a pond?
Yes, you can create a frog home submerged inside a pond or at the water’s edge. However, you may not be able to guarantee a frog will spend much time inside it.
Frogs generally rest and hibernate outside of water however they will also hide submerged under the surface.
Frogs love to seek out hidden nooks and crannies underwater so they can hide from predators and ambush prey. An easy way to create a frog home in a pond is with bricks and paving slabs.
In the image below we built such a pond, frog home, on one of our wildlife garden projects.
How to build a perfect frog home in your garden
An effective frog home should be robust, naturalistic and damp. You will want to build your frog home in a way which blends in with its natural surroundings.
Furthermore, your frog cave should be impenetrable to predators such as foxes and cats. The best frog homes will also be well insulated from frost and sub-zero temperatures during the winter.
This will allow them to also become perfect places for frogs to hibernate!
An effective way to build such a home is with strong masonry materials mortared together and covered with soil. Materials such as old bricks and slabs can form perfect frog caves inside landform near ponds. These will provide the perfect warm, humid and safe places for frogs to live.
A good strategy is to save excavated soil from digging a wildlife pond to create a feature mound. This can then be excavated into to build a sealed cavity with an access tube. Soil can then be piled back around the home to provide a well-insulated and safe frog home.
It is always optimum to build a frog house close to a wildlife pond. In the example below we built a raised pond with a meadow access slope to the pond. We constructed a frog home underneath the mound with a clay pipe access tube to the meadow below.
5 frog homes you can buy online
1. Wildlife world ceramic frog and toad house
Hyde Heath, Amersham, Buckinghamshire