National Planting Day Saturday!

Courtesy of TheGardensGift.Blogspot.com

Today starts a series of events to commemorate the first ever National Planting Day.

Fall is generally a good time to get plants in the ground and established before winter freezes. In Florida, you can plant during the spring, but while you need not worry about freeze damage, the plant can stress from the early heat and regular watering is essential if the rains haven’t started. National Planting Day is to encourage the use of native plants in your landscape. Natives in the U.S. are generally defined as plants (or animals) that were in a certain geographic location prior to European arrival. ~1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue~

Native plants are useful because they require less maintenance and are already adapted to the climate, soils and insects of your area. They provide our native wildlife with food and shelter. Plus your yard doesn’t have to be decorated by bushy little Casper the Ghosts, every time a frost is predicted. How many people have moved to Florida, only to surround themselves in an environment that is nothing like the Florida they chose to live in? Diversity in the environment is an important issue. Some of both our native plants and introduced ornamental plants have suffered from plagues of disease and pests. Variety abates these risks and allows you to have a home landscape that is richer than what everyone can find at the big box store. Check out the FL Ass. of Native Plant Nurseries for possible suppliers or Florida Gardener’s list. With thoughtful selection of plants, your yard can be a thriving ecosystem of natives and cultivated ornamentals.

Audubon Society offers some tips on getting started. The University of Florida has a publication on the many great potential Florida natives for landscapes and a page of assorted useful links.

Grab your shovel and one day you’ll be able to say you remember what you planted on the very first National Planting Day!

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