Tie Your Garden into the Local Ecosystem with Native Plants - dummies

Tie Your Garden into the Local Ecosystem with Native Plants

The ideal environmentally sound garden has native plants and shrubs that thrive in your local climate. Native plants make the most of the local environment and bolster the local ecosystem. They don’t need additional water and can withstand the local bugs and insects, so you’ll have fewer reasons to even consider using toxic chemicals to keep the plants free of weeds and diseases.

Native plants also attract native species of butterflies and birds, which are key parts of your ecosystem. Grow as many varieties of native plants as possible to support the wildlife in your garden, and do a little research to find out if some of them can be grown together to naturally ward off each other’s pests.

Talk to experts at your local garden center about the native plants that grow best in the climate and soil where you live. Other sources of information about native gardens can easily be found on the Internet.

The plant you think is a weed may be just a wild plant. You may not want it in your nicely cultivated flowerbed, but if it’s a native plant, you can relocate it to grow in another part of your garden.

When it comes to deciding what to grow in the garden, it’s impossible to generalize. You can go for trees, shrubs, fruit trees, vegetables, potted plants, or flowers depending on how much space you have, how much sunlight your garden gets, the soil quality, how much rainfall your area gets, how much time you have to spend working in the garden — the variables are almost endless. The best thing is to choose plant varieties that suit the conditions you already have; this makes it much easier for them to thrive. Group plants with similar needs together. For example, ask experts at your local garden center about how much water different plants need; some thrive in drier conditions, so you don’t want to plant them in a low spot that collects water or next to flowers that may get watered often.