Native plants are crucial to the health of any ecosystem. They provide food, shelter, nesting sites, and corridors for animals. Traditional gardening methods often involve non-native plants, but did you know that some native plants are just as beautiful as non-native plants? A large advantage is that native plants require less water and fertilizer than non-native plants because they're more adaptable to the soil than non-native species. Using too many non-native species will harm the natural environment because they harm the native plant life, like the soil and water level in your area. Here are some ways you can help contribute to biodiversity by planting native plants in your garden. At Trowbridge Garden Centre, we offer many different native plant species to plant in your area.
Why Native Plants Matter
Did you know that native plants don’t require as much maintenance as non-native plants. A non-native species actually needs more watering, is more susceptible to pests, and may need special types of fertilizer to thrive. When you use native plants, you can plant them everywhere in your garden, and, as long as you don’t overwater, they will likely continue to grow and do well. In addition, some of the characteristics of native plants are needed to help with certain diseases that are more prevalent in non-native plants.
There are several advantages to using native plants.
Native plants are compatible with local wildlife to attract more birds, insects, and other animals than other types of plants.
Native plants can withstand extreme weather conditions, like drought or heavy rainfall, better than other types of plants.
Native plants require less maintenance than other types of plants because they're tolerant to things like overwatering and under-watering.
Native plant communities provide erosion control by holding soils together with their roots and providing shade, reducing the chances of soil erosion.
Native plant communities provide natural habitats for birds, butterflies and other insects.
If you remove non-native species from your garden, all of the nutrients from the soil are redistributed, and you will be left with a poorly drained area. So, if you're getting rid of your non-native plants and you want to add native plants to your garden, make sure you improve the soil by mixing in organic matter to provide native plants with enough nutrients to establish healthy growth.
Picking Native Plants for your area
Before you start planting plants in your garden, look at the vegetation. Are there a lot of invasive species? Will they compete with native species for food and water? Are they likely to spread your other plants? And, are they likely to take over your garden? It's always better to create a diverse garden where native plants live than to destroy a native ecosystem. Here's a list of the 7 most common native plants in the Trowbridge area:
- Ox-eye daisy
- Hemp agrimony
- Common knapweed
Successful Gardening Practices with Native Plants
Planting native plants with a plan in mind is much easier to create a successful garden. Research the most popular plants and choose plants with similar nutrient needs. This will allow your plants to thrive and survive.
- Select native plants with the same water requirements. Choosing the right plants that are native to your area will help you avoid water issues. This is also important because water is usually in short supply during the summer in many areas.
- Pick native plants that produce flowers to attract butterflies and other pollinators. Nectar from native plants is essential because it’s used for food by these animals.
You can achieve many of the benefits of native plants with minimal work and ease, and your wildlife will be forever thankful.
Where to Buy Native Plants
Trowbridge Garden Centre offers a lot of native plants. Besides native plants, you can also find annual wildflower seeds that attract bees, butterflies and other pollinators. Explore different native plant seed and plant starter packs and get started in the garden. To help you choose a variety that's right for your garden, look for the following traits:
- Highly resilient
- Small size
- Aerobic (friendly to heat, drought, and cold) Active/dull shade
- Dry or moist conditions
Generally, native plants are usually easier to grow than non-native plants. If you can remember back to your garden lessons in school, most plants will need to endure varying conditions to survive. Many plants will do well in containers, and others will require a hole in the ground. If you want to mix and match with pots and containers, we offer a wide range of pottery, too.