Monday, April 4, 2016

Grow More Native Plants, but why? #gardenchat #gardenforwildlife #NJ

Grow Native Plants,
but Why?

This year we hope to add more native plants to our yard and landscape. Like many people, our yard has a mix of invasive, non-native and natives. Harry recently asked me with regard to plants, "What does native mean?" And, why do native plants matter?

Does native mean grown in the state? Or, native to the United States? Or in our case, native to the East Coast? What a good question. It would seem "native" regions would vary depending on water, soil and weather needs for the plant to thrive. 

For those in South Jersey with interest in learning more The book "Bringing Nature Home"  - will be the topic at the Millville Public Library on Thursday, April 21, 2016 at 6 pm. There will be a reading circle hosted by the group CU Maurice River and led by CU member and Rutgers Master Gardener Suzy Merighi.

A good reason for growing more native plants is to sustain biodiversity and provide food for wildlife. Do you enjoy nature and getting outdoors and watching backyard birds, hummingbirds, squirrels, ladybugs and butterflies? Then plant shrubs and blooms that sustain these critters. Clearing trees for housing developments and planting non-native plants deprives local wildlife of habitat and sustenance

The more I learn, the more I cringe, because we are GUILTY of growing invasive, alien, non-native plants. As many of you know, if you read my last post, I mentioned that I relocated a few butterfly bushes; they are a big NO-NO in native gardens. We have too many non-native plants like Burning bushes, Mugwort, English Ivy and Periwinkle.

The good news is that we are trying to grow more natives! Mother Nature will thank us and will thank you too if you do the same. I'm looking forward to planting more Mountain Laurel and may try Highbush Blueberry and Beach Plums. Any other recommendations?

Happy Gardening!

Related Links
Citizens United 2016 Calendar of Events

8th Annual Native Plant SWAP
Galloway, NJ: Saturday, May 7, 2016 (9 am - 2 pm) -- rain or shine!

Pat Sutton's Source List for Native Plants 2016 
Native Plants and Wildlife Gardens by Pat Sutton

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