Spring seemed to take forever to arrive — maybe because we were enticed so often by the mild winter weather. Now, at last, birds are singing and spring wildflowers are in full regalia. Spring is such a short season for gardeners and nature enthusiasts as we race toward summer; there is so much for us to see and do.
Consider the benefits of including native plants in your garden. They are well adapted to our soils and climate. They require less water and fertilizer. They attract birds and butterflies and help offset habitat fragmentation for local wildlife. Using natives in your landscape means less work and more wildlife.
For ideas on how to incorporate natives in your home landscape, join the Indiana Native Plant & Wildflower Society on their free garden tour, Saturday, April 21.
Tired of the smell of fertilizer, herbicide and gasoline engines? Do your ears ring from the roar of power mowers and blowers? Long an advocate of lawn reduction and natural lawn care, I hope you enjoyed Phil Van Hest’s “Argument for Killing Off Your Lawn.” You may want to follow up with a trip to the IMA’s Planet Indy series, which returns with Paul Tukey at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 19. Tukey is the founder of SafeLawns.org and author of The Organic Lawn Care Manual.
It’s not hard to go natural and kick the addiction to artificial lawns:
- Fertilize only in fall (not spring or summer) and use an organic/natural fertilizer or top dress your lawn with compost.
- Don’t water on a fixed schedule, but only when there has not been an inch of rain for at least two to three weeks.
- Hand weed; don’t use toxic chemicals to control dandelions.
- Appreciate the beauty and diversity of a chemical-free mixed lawn with violets and clover in it—birds, bees and butterflies will thank you with their presence.
With native plants and your easy-care lawn plan, you’ll have lots more time for wildlife watching.
Got a gardening question or a tip to share? Contact Lynn at Lynn@IndianaLivingGreen.com