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Native Plant Gardens

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ButterflyDiscover the beauty and benefits of native plants in your landscape. Native plants are hardy and easy to grow. They attract birds and butterflies and come in a wide variety of colors, sizes and shapes. Native plants have deep roots and scant need for chemicals or irrigation, making them a great choice for water quality and conservation.

Here are some steps to achieve a thriving landscape of native plants.

  • Work out a plan for the garden. Take soil type, sunlight and drainage into account. Also consider plant height, bloom time and color.
  • Use a glyphosate-based herbicide (like Roundup) or many layers of newspaper or kraft paper to eliminate existing grass or plants.
  • Define an edge to the garden with commercial edging or with a selection of low-growing plants.
  • Lay down a thick layer of newspaper or kraft paper to discourage weed growth.
  • Spread a three to four inch layer of mulch over the entire garden.
  • Cut holes through the mulch and paper to plant the native plants according to plan.
  • Mark plant locations to help identify them as they emerge next year. This will be a big help in your first months of maintenance. The labels will help you differentiate between the native plants and weeds, allowing you to pull the weeds when they’re young and easy to remove.
  • Find a plant list, more instructions and native plant sources at Blue Thumb – Planting for Clean Water.