We touched upon this briefly last week but Adding Native Plants to Your Landscape is such an important topic we want to dedicate week 3 to this discussion.
Why Add Native Plants to Your Landscape?
According to Carol Schwobel, who is on the Board of Directors of the New River chapter of the Virginia Native Plant Society, “The most destructive influence driving extinctions is habitat loss. We are experiencing a loss not just of our native plants as open land is developed, but an alarming loss of native insects and birds that depend on them. We are not only losing beautiful and beneficial pollinators like butterflies, but insects that birds need to raise their chicks, like caterpillars for chickadees and aphids for hummingbirds. From native trees and shrubs to native perennials, our hope is that we can begin to repair our frayed environment and see an increase in the life forms we are currently losing. Each of us can do our part by planting native plants, which will begin healing our environment, and ultimately ourselves.”
What Specific Actions Can You Take?
It is highly encouraged to use 70% of native plants in your landscape and to totally avoid the use of invasive non-natives. However, non-natives are not enemy number one. Invasives are!
Here are three simple steps you can take to get started in bringing more native plants into your landscape:
Request more native plants at your local nursery.
Mow less: convert an unused portion of your lawn into a native planter bed.
Plant a native tree: extra points for oaks. Oaks host 534 species of native caterpillars!
Start with Planting a Tree
Native Tree Giveaway!
We are excited to announce that Plant SWVA Natives and Sustainable Blacksburg are partnering to distribute native oak and red bud trees in the New River Valley this spring. Both trees need well-drained sites. All trees are one year old bareroot saplings. They need to be planted in potting soil or earth within a day of receipt. All new trees should be watered for two years in order to become established.
If you are interested in adding a native Oak and/or Red Bud tree to your landscape this spring, please fill out this Google form. Trees will be available April 16-17, 2021 so fill out the form soon!
Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook as we talk about specific actions you can take to add native plants to your landscape this week!