Why Plant Native?
Fall is a great time of year to get outside when it isn’t so hot out there and get to planting all of those wonderful trees, shrubs and flowers that our native to your area. Planting right now gives the roots enough time to start growing and get nice and warm and happy down in the soil before a hard freeze settles in in a month or so. And all of the leaves falling from the trees are an ideal addition to your compost pile!
Choosing to plant plants that are indigenous to your area has numerous benefits as they have a long history of thriving in local weather and soil conditions and therefore require less water, fertilizer, pesticides and maintenance than their exotic counterparts. You do not have to sacrifice beauty when you go native given that there are countless varieties of native plant species available for you to pick from that display beautiful foliage and flowers, some even all year round.
The fact that, once established, they will not require regular irrigation or chemicals to keep them happy goes a long way toward improving the environment and the community around you. Not only will you be saving money on your water bill but you won’t be using all of those chemicals that you need to make the exotic plants healthy which translates into less chemicals running off and entering your local water supply. Water treatment facilities do not test for synthetic chemicals and there are many who speculate that this is having a detrimental effect on public health.
Additionally, they provide the necessary habitats and nourishment needed for all the local wildlife. Without the correct vegetation local wildlife will suffer because they won’t have the required nuts and seeds, etc. they need to survive. They also provide the animals with adequate habitation for survival in your local climate. The more native plants there are, the less space available for exotics to grow and crowd out all of that local goodness needed for local biodiversity.
When the plants and animals are in balance everything falls into place and begins living in harmony, improving not only water quality as already discussed but also air quality because natural vegetation requires less maintenance and less maintenance means we aren’t burning as many fossil fuels.
That beautiful lawn the corporate office building down the street had flown in and installed sure does look beautiful but it requires a lot of upkeep, burning not only man hours but lots of fuel of all forms as well, and an abundance of chemicals are required to maintain its flawless look. It sure does look green but it is far from being “green”.
We haven’t even discussed the financial benefits of going native in your yard aside from water savings. If you take the time to figure it out, you can plan your tree planting in a fashion that will save you bookoo bucks on your energy bills. Well placed trees provide shade in the summer which means you won’t have to run your air conditioner as frequently, cha ching! They can also insulate your home from those harsh winter winds causing you to burn less energy heating your home in the winter. As mentioned before, you won’t be needing all of those fertilizers and pesticides anymore, that’s more money in your pocket!
If you live in the Baltimore area, BG&E and the Arbor Day Foundation are teaming up yet again through the BGE Energy Savings Trees Program to give away two (2) free tress to qualifying residents while supplies last. Follow this link to find out how you can reserve your trees now and have them shipped directly to your home ready for planting. The trees they are supplying include: Shadblow Serviceberry, Flowering Dogwood, Willow Oak, Yellowwood, Basswood and Eastern Redbud.
Save money and reduce your carbon footprint by “GOING NATIVE” in your yard today!
Not recycling at work?
Contact us to learn more about how Reduction In Motion is helping organizations achieve their sustainability goals. We specialize in waste reduction and waste flow strategies for companies of all sizes. Focused on education and driven by on-site facilitation, our processes have helped our clients achieve award-winning programs. Don’t forget to connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Our team of sustainability and waste consultants work together to develop content for our site. Contact us to learn more about something we’ve written about or would like us to focus on in the future.