Are you thinking of a plantation in your backyard? If so, then you are at the right place as we will discuss everything related to native plants. We will also tell you why plants should be an important part of your life.
Table of Contents
Why Eco Landscaping Matters?
Over the past few years, the process of urbanization has sped up. This has transformed lawns and exotic ornamental plants. The U.S. has lost around 150 million acres of land due to urbanization and this trend isn’t slowing down. Thus, the human-dominating lands don’t support functioning ecosystems. Moreover, the isolated natural areas don’t support wildlife.
Native plants are the plants present naturally in the region in which they evolved. They provide the ecosystem on which humans depend, including people and birds. However, most of the landscaping plants present in nurseries are alien species. These plants don’t only sever the food web but most have become pests.
Landscaping choices have a meaningful impact on the population of insects and birds. The bottom line is that landscapers can benefit wildlife and birds by selecting the native plants when they make their landscaping decisions.
Garden Beds VS Native Plants:
Landscapes that contain more diverse biomass of native plants help capture runoff and pollinators. Native plants are perfect for people who want to live a more sustainable lifestyle. Moreover, fertilizing your lawn requires much more nutrients to grow and stay healthy. Until the industrial age, the demand for agriculture kept the lawns at bay. They were mostly considered status symbols. They also indicated that the person had just enough money to brush off the demand for farmland.
Lawn Mowers and Grass Clippings:
Lawns require a large quantity of water and chemical treatment to maintain them. Moreover, mowing leads to pollution. The Environmental Protection Agency states that using a lawnmower to mow for one hour emits the same pollution as a car running at 100 miles. It doesn’t matter whether you get trimming services; the result is the same. Lawns displace landscapes, which could attract insects, birds, and people.
Thus, there is a great need to think of lawns on a grander scale. You need to rethink your gardening strategy and replace lawns with native plants.
Choosing Native Plants:
Some communities have started to impose alternatives. For example, in Arizona and California, water shortages have become a crisis. So, the state’s rebate for each square foot of lawn is replaced by water-saving or native landscapes; a process known as xeriscaping. The cities in Nebraska, Washington state, and Minnesota have introduced rebate programs. The city of Virginia and Alexandria recently passed laws. These allow them to grow meadows in city parks.
Throughout the country, local groups have advocated planting native plants. Some groups, like Food Not Lawn, have encouraged people to replace lawns with edible plants. Others have taken a different approach. They have planted “guerrilla gardens” into abandoned lots and outdoor spaces. Native planting doesn’t need to be all to make a difference. For example, take the chickadee reproduction. If there are 70% of native plants in a biomass habitat, then there will be good chickadee reproduction. This gives you 30% space to plant exotics or other ornamental plants.
Benefits of Native Plants:
There are tons of reasons why you should plant native species in your backyard. So, here we have gathered the top benefits of native plants:
1. Increase Local Resilience:
Local resilience is the ability of the ecosystem to overcome disturbances. The native plants have immense benefits which increase local resilience. These are providing habitat and shelter to wildlife, providing food and attracting beneficial organisms, and supporting the health of the ecosystem. In this way, it protects the wildlife habitat.
Rain gardens are another way through which plants can develop local resilience. The reason is that they reduce stormwater which carries pollutants. This reduces the water pollution which comes from stormwater runoff. Larger rocks and stones make the base and store native plants to absorb water.
Plants also reduce carbon emissions and continue the carbon cycle. Local resilience is essential for human society. The reason is that we benefit from all ecosystems which insects and plants provide.
You must choose the native plants that give year-round services. Insects, birds and predetors mainly depend on them for food and shelter. The perfect combination of plants increases resilience and provides food security at different times of the year.
The Highbush Blueberry is a great example of a native plant. It provides great services to the ecosystem. Bees and other emerging insects depend on their flowers for nectar. Moreover, birds, squirrels, and other mammals eat the berries all season long. Thus, the blueberry provides food and other services to insects, birds, and mammals.
2. Beneficial for Wildlife:
Birds, spiders, and other insects use native plants to get protection, food, and shelter. The native pollinators evolve with native plants and depend on them for food. These species involve spiders, birds, butterflies, and small mammals. It is essential for pollinators to thrive because they help many plant species.
Several native species provide food for predators of organisms, which helps the pollinated plants and reduces the pest population. Predators, like spiders, get attracted to the native plants as they provide shelter and attract other native organisms which could become prey. Generally, predators are beneficial to the environment. The reason is that they prey on the pest species. So, native plants and predators may be an effective solution to reduce the use of pesticides. Pesticides contain chemicals that can have harmful effects on several organisms, like insects, birds, humans, and other plants.
3. Less Maintenance:
In general, native and new plants are more resilient to environmental risks. They spread quickly and take out weeds, which means they need less maintenance on your part. Moreover, many native plants grow in a way that protects the soil from being flooded with water. This indicates that landscaping with native plants keeps the ground rich. This makes the plant flourish. Moreover, no irrigation system is needed during the fall/winter season. However, the heat of summer poses a challenge. So, you need fewer materials for maintenance.
As it needs less maintenance, you can also try different growth strategies. These include making the living wall, adding patio, walkways, making a Green Roof, or choosing to recycle your garden pots. Moreover, you can choose any rainwater harvest system, including rain barrels. You can also get the expertise of different local groups to install these things.
4. No Pesticides or Fertilizers Needed:
Native plants are adapted to the climate of the region. So, they can protect themselves against outside threats, like fungi, insects, and diseases. Thus, they have a natural built-in system that protects them. So, you don’t need any pesticides, herbicides, fertilizer, compost, or Mulch for them. Thus, you can save time, money and help not to pollute the environment and other plants.
5. Food Security:
A combination of all the above-mentioned benefits increases food security for the wildlife. Native plants and trees provide the means to condition the soil, preserve moisture, clean air and provide habitat to other organisms. These organisms provide amazing services to crops and gardens, like pest control. Native plants are the perfect addition to your backyard. The main reason is that they have existed in the habitat for too long. Moreover, they provide food security for humans by providing resources to native organisms. Moreover, these foods in nature have several health benefits.
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In this article, we have provided you with all the reasons why homeowners need to re-landscape the yard of their house with native plants. These plants increase the beauty of your garden. Moreover, they stay green during times of drought. So, they are beneficial for the environment too. Moreover, it will improve the quality of life of your family and neighbors. If you put in a bit of effort, you can even make a business out of it. So, you should definitely re-landscape your garden with native plants.