Tips on Gardening with Native Plants

Gardening isn’t a hobby you can pick up when you’re bored only to abandon it once Better Call Saul returns to Netflix; it’s something that takes research, planning, and a significant time commitment.

Gardening with native plants amplifies the efforts to some degree, but not as much as you might think. In fact, with a few simple steps, it’s easy to get going with growing in no time at all. 

In order to set down your native roots, consider the following:

Do Your Research

If you’re a botanist or an experienced gardener, you probably already know the plants native to your area. But if you’re a novice or your green thumb is a little off-color, do your research before breaking ground. One of the simplest ways to learn about native plants is by using the National Wildlife Federation’s native plant finder. With this handy tool, you can search online by zip code and read about local foliage. 

Find the Right Location, Location, Location 

Location is as important in gardening as it is in real estate. Before you dig in, study your landscape to decide whICH native plants are most likely to thrive. Consider how much sun the garden gets, how many areas are shaded, the type of soil, and how much space there is to grow. A failure to match your plants to your location creates more work for you and less opportunity for your flowering friends.  

Group Similar Plants Together

Not only does grouping similar plants together create a visually appealing aesthetic, but it invites more butterflies and bees and makes your garden easier to maintain. Place plants with similar care needs side-by-side to kill two birds with one stone...or thrill two birches with one hose. ;) 

Stay on Top of the Weeds

The five-inch weed in your backyard? The one that wasn’t there a few days ago? It’s not your imagination; weeds really do grow that fast. On average, they can grow up to three inches a day! Their extraordinary growth rate requires extreme vigilance on your part, so make weed patrol a daily routine or your flower garden may become overrun in a matter of weeks.

Befriend the Bees

Studies suggest that native bees prefer native plants over exotic ones. Of course, a bee-friendly garden doesn’t just benefit your plants; it benefits the bees, you, me, and the world as a whole. A few ways to entice these bumbling creatures includes offering a water source, installing a bee house, grouping similar plants together (as mentioned above), and using bee-friendly pest-repellant. 

You might also consider letting certain weeds grow in other areas of your yard. While you don’t want them in your garden, they’re an important food source for bees and another reason to put off pulling those thorny undergrowths that keep popping up between your cobblestones. 

Gardening with native plants is a lot like gardening in general; it’s a practice in patience and, often, a little trial-and-error. But the effort is worth it….at least until fall.

The Habitat Apartments are located in Gunbarrel with convenient access to shopping in Boulder and beyond. We offer apartments and townhomes with private patios, a heated pool, outdoor kitchens, pet-friendly perks, and multiple floor plans to choose from. Contact us today to learn why we’re the perfect place to set down roots.

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