Fun & Hobbies
Planting a Native Flower Garden
Planting a native flower garden is a wonderful way to create a low-maintenance, eco-friendly garden. There are various benefits to planting native species, so let’s take a look at some of those benefits and some tips and guidelines on going native in the garden.
There are all kinds of benefits to planting a native flower garden. Here are some of them.
Naive wildflowers are very disease-resistant; after all, they’ve thrived without human intervention for centuries. They have “learned” how to cope with the various forces of nature and the climatic conditions of your area, so they don’t require a lot of coddling or special treatment. They tend to be frost-resistant and tolerant of wet or dry conditions, depending on where you are located. Also, many native species hold their own against weeds, too.
When it comes to pest resistance, native species excel. As with climatic conditions, native flowers have adapted to the conditions around them and developed various techniques for resisting pests. They already know how to “work with” the local insect population and other plants to resist pests.
3. Fewer chemicals required
Since you will not be battling pests and diseases much in your native flower garden, and since your native plants are adapted to the soil conditions in your area, you will save money and protect the environment by not having to resort to chemical weed-killers, pesticides, fungicides, and fertilizers.
Tips and Guidelines
Before you begin planting your native wildflower garden, it’s a good idea to make sure you are going about it in a way that will yield the maximum benefit. So here are some tips and guidelines for planting that native flower garden.
1. Choose the right site
Just because you’re planting native flowers does not mean they don’t have requirements, or that every part of your yard automatically provides an environment similar to the natural eco-systems in your area. So it’s important to choose a site that gets adequate sun, shade, and water, and choose plant species accordingly.
If conditions aren’t ideal, look for a plant that prefers the “extreme” condition. For example, you may have an area that’s very shady and moist; choose a flower like Sweet Woodruff if it’s native to your area. The same goes for hot and dry spots; find out what’s native and work from there.
2. Remove invasive, non-native weeds
It’s important to eradicate non-native invaders like honeysuckle, Oriental bittersweet, and others before planting your native flower garden. You can dig them up by hand, but it’s far easier just to cover the garden site with several layers of wet newspaper held down with rocks. After a few weeks, the soil should be bare.
Even better, start the season before and leave the garden area covered all summer. In the fall, plant native seeds that nature intended to overwinter before sprouting.
3. Check with your local extension service
Most extension services are branches of the agricultural community. They are usually glad to fill you in on what species are native and may even be able to help you find seeds or plants.