Many people like the idea of a native plant garden because they’ve heard that they’re “no maintenance.” This may be partly true in so much that the native plants have a better chance of flourishing naturally without your intervention than exotic species. The best thing you can do is to let your native plants take the lead, and here are five steps to make that go as well as it possibly can.
Learn About Seedlings
Take the time to learn about the plants you’re growing, especially what the seedlings look like. Whether this means spending time researching online or coming into the store to ask us, it will be time well spent. When the plants seed, their seedlings will pop up in areas where they can be well-supported by the soil, but not necessarily where you planted them. Don’t weed them out by mistake.
Leave the Seed Heads
In the off-season, let the seed heads dry out and stay there. They offer great food to the birds and critters, which is their natural seed dispersal mechanism. Everyone in your garden will be happier for it.
Leave the Leaves
You should also leave the leaf litter alone in the fall and winter, suppressing that urge to clean up the yard. The leaves will break down over the winter and enrich the soil. They also provide habitats for beneficial insects and fungi.
Trim And Rake in Spring
Wait till the spring to trim back your perennials and rack the leaf litter out of your beds if you must do it at all. It provides homes to insects, food to birds, and a protective layer over young seedlings. If you do clean out the beds, be cautious and gentle.
Avoid the Herbicide
Pre-emergent herbicides, like Preen, will keep your native plants from spreading by seed. Don’t be so focused on stopping the weeds that you also harm your native plants. You’ll have a stronger garden if you let your native plants seed themselves, even if it means having more weeds to pull up.
VISIT AMERICAN NATIVE PLANTS
Whether you’re looking to restore a local wetland or beautify your property, American Native Plants can provide you with the right plants for the job. With an inventory of over 400,000 native trees, native shrubs, and herbaceous plants consider American Native Plants your one-stop shop for wholesale native plant needs. Peruse our catalog, give us a call, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+!