Growing plants that complement your backyard is an excellent way to improve your landscaping.
That said, a majority of homeowners are unaware that using native plants for this activity has multiple benefits to the farm and the surrounding alike.
Native plants have historically grown in a certain area, without being introduced by humans. They might be indigenous to the local ecosystem, state, or region, depending on the species and their personal characteristics. These plants are hardier to their native area and also provide a natural habitat to regional animals and insects.
If you plan to incorporate native plants in your landscape, it is a good idea to get the help of an experience landscaper to put together a plan. Take a look at our Chicago landscaping services to get a better idea of how we can help.
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Native Landscaping Tips
If you are trying to find out more about native landscaping, and how to apply it to your property, here are a few tips:
Keep it Simple
Before you start thinking of unique designs, take a keen look at your surroundings. The nature of your landform should define your goals. For instance, if the topography is flat, it would be best if your landscaping objectives aligned with that structure.
Remove Unwanted Vegetation
The next step involves removing all unwanted plants, such as dead trees and shrubs. Since they are useless, these plants only take up your space and affect the outlook of your landscape.
Optimize the Size of Your Lawn
Since it has a low value but requires high maintenance, it is crucial to check the size of your lawn.
Make sure that the plants you grow are suitable for your local area. For instance, if you live in the Midwest, you could plant carefree blooms, coneflower, and bee balm, and so on.
Match the Soil and the Plantings
As mentioned above, the plants you grow should be suitable for the soil in your location. This means that if the soil is acidic, the plants should be able to thrive in such conditions. Otherwise, you will be in for a struggle. One option is to test the soil and fertilize it as required.
Blur the Edges of the Garden
Most gardeners tend to end plantings with a neat, trimmed edge. However, if you opt to go native, it is advisable to avoid this conventional approach and blur the boundaries. For example, you could gradually reduce the density of the plants towards the fence, or let a few branches to overgrow towards the edge.
Avoid Using Fertilizers When Planting
The majority of native plants are hardy and do well in soils with relatively low levels of fertility. When you apply fertilizers during planting, you end up supplying nutrients to weeds surrounding the plants. This is why you should let the plants grow naturally.
Practice Weeding and Mulching
Like other vegetation, native plants suffer when competing for nutrients with weeds. Ensure that you conduct frequent weeding to allow the plants to develop at a fast pace. Also, mulching helps in conserving moisture, which in turn makes the plants grow faster and healthily.
The Benefits of Native Landscaping
Now that you know how to do native landscaping, here are the top benefits of using native plants.
They Saves Money and Water
Since native plants are tailor-made for their habitat, they have a better capacity to hold water than their non-native counterparts. They can quickly adapt to the amount of precipitation received in an area. As a result, you will need significantly less amounts on water, which means that you save more money.
Another benefit of native plants is that they can withstand adverse conditions better than exotic or non-native plants. This means that they will not wither or dry out when the weather gets harsh. Instead, they will survive and flourish when the conditions get better again.
Native plants are naturally more resistant to adverse weather, disease, and other environmental risks than other plants. They spread out quickly and crowd out weeds, which means that you spend less time and resources on maintaining them. Also, the way in which these plants grow protects the soil from flooding. Therefore, growing native plants in your landscape ensure that the soils remain rich and fertile.
When you grow native plants in your backyard, you are providing natural habitat to the wildlife that lives in your area. Moreover, these plants produce fruits, nectar, nuts, and seeds, all of which provide food to the local animals and birds. Plus, they provide shelter for creatures such as bats and birds.
In addition, landscaping with native plants can help in the fight against climate change. Most native plants, especially the ones that have a prolonged lifetime, are useful in storing carbon dioxide, which is greenhouse gas. They also do not need lawnmowers, which usually exhaust harmful gases into the atmosphere.
Furthermore, the hardiness of native plants means that they use less water. This, in turn, saves water, which is perhaps the most valuable natural resource.
A common problem with some of the exotic or non-native plants is that they are invasive. This is not the case with native plants since they allow other vegetation to grow without interference. When plants are invasive, they disrupt others, meaning that you have to spend time and money on replacements. On the other hand, non-invasive plants allow others to grow freely.
No Need for Pesticides and Fertilizers
Because native plants adapt to the specific climate of an area, they can protect themselves against diseases, fungi, insects, and pests. You do not have to spend money on artificial pesticides as they have an inbuilt defense system for protection. Consequently, you save the time and money that you would have otherwise used on the chemicals. More importantly, you avoid causing damage to other vegetation and conserve the environment.
Native Plants Absorb Chemicals
Most native plants have extensive root systems that create natural channels to ensure that soil remains loose and enhance infiltration by reducing the rate of water runoff. The plants act as a buffer by absorbing the chemicals and other debris that would otherwise run off into the surroundings.
Lastly, native plants ensure that your backyard remains beautiful by continually producing beautiful flowers and an abundance of colorful fruits and seeds. Some plants also change colors seasonally, making sure that your home remains vibrant and attractive throughout the year.
Working with professionals
It is important to point out that even though native landscaping may seem all easy, it is vital to involve a professional landscaping company. This is helps to ensure that all native landscaping aspects are well taken care of as is supposed.
Additionally, professionals are better equipped to handle the process, than you are. So, why not let them do the job?
Native landscaping is a practice that can improve the outlook of your outdoor areas significantly. If you are unsure what theme to choose to decorate your backyard, consider growing native plants. As seen above, they require little maintenance and are easy on your pocket. More importantly, they do not hurt the environment and add a natural, wild feel to your home.