Don’t pinch your natives and other sage advice

Fri. Aug. 3, 2018

Click below to listen to my  2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  Don’t pinch your natives and other sage advice

I recently interviewed one of the co-authors of a new book called “Climate-Wise Landscaping – practical actions for a sustainable future”.  It’s a great read with a lot of information presented in an easily digestible way.  You’ll be able to find the full interview HERE on August 13th, 2018

While there’s way too much in it to share here, Sue Reed, offered some quick nuggets, nibbles of knowledge, that we can do now to help our future!  One of those, is to lose the idea of always have a manicured landscape.  First up, don’t pinch your natives.  And I’m not talking about the neighbor!

I have a 2nd year butterfly garden and there are some native plants that are done flowering, I thought I might “clean them up a bit”, Sue says no, let them go to seed, not only to have more plants, but those seeds feed our local bird population. I hadn’t actually considered that!

Another lawn consideration is to let the natural “weeds” like clover grow, they feed pollinators.  She’s definitely NOT a fan of chemicals and says it’s important to think about what happens IN the soil.  While the weeds may be annoying, the chemicals also wreak havoc on our soil by killing the microbes and other critters living in that ecosystem.

Hand pulling those weeds is fine with the 2 finger method, it reduces the soil disturbance.  If the weeds are annuals, just got it down at the base.

2 finger method
photo by Fine Gardening

As for those fallen leaves, let them lay in the wilder areas of your landscape.  They likely contain unseen eggs and larvae of many overwintering pollinators.  Rake the leaves in areas you want to maintain but save them for compost!

Moisten the leaves. Dehydrated leaves will lose nitrogen