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Why should you plant native plants in the fall?
Sep 08, 2008 - Autumn from Peaceful Valley
We have an abundance of native plants that arrived at the Peaceful Valley nursery Friday. Curious about why we suggest planting natives in the fall, I asked a few questions of our Nursery Manager, Linda Nowak-Carlson who will be teaching a class here in Grass Valley, CA on September 13th on “Gardening with Natives & Fall Cover Crops.”
Q: When is the best time to plant natives and why?
A: It’s best to plant natives during the cool, wet season. During this time the soil will be warm and damp and lead to rapid root growth and your plants will be well established by spring.
Q: Why should we consider planting natives?
A: Natives are plants that evolved in our climate and are used to dry summers and wet winters and require minimal watering once they’ve acclimated. They attract beneficial insects and won’t get demolished by deer. Natives are more deer resistant because deer are accustomed to their presence and though they may nibble a little, they generally go on their way.
Q: Do natives require special care?
A: Once natives acclimate to your yard, they require relatively little water or special care. The best thing to do before planting natives is to go work a walk to observe where they are growing in nature – some will be in dry sandy soil, some will be near a creak bed, etc. Then, try to duplicate their natural environment as closely as possible when selecting a place to plant in your yard. Over the next three years you can acclimate most native plants, or wean them off water. To do this, gradually decrease the number of days/week you water, but water for longer periods of time. This encourages the plants to develop deeper root systems.
Q: What are your favorite native plants?
A: Wild ginger, button bush, Oregon grape, and all the varieties of buckwheat.
Q: When is your workshop?
A: Gardening with Natives & Fall Cover Crops