One way you can help the environment is to replace your lawn with native plants and trees. Naturescaping is practical and beautiful landscaping that uses native plants adapted to the Pacific Northwest climate. Imagine what the location of your home looked like before it was developed and what plants and animals lived there. Now imagine bringing some of that natural system back to your yard.
Benefits of naturescaping
Compared to native plants, ordinary lawns have shallow roots and are less effective at slowing and absorbing stormwater runoff, which can create soil erosion and pollute rivers and streams.
Native plants require less care because they are adapted to our mild, wet winters and dry summers. They are hardy, often resistant to local blights and pests, and require less water than non-native plants. Native plants can be more interesting than a plain lawn, too. In addition, they provide habitat for beneficial birds and insects and require less maintenance, fertilizer, and pesticides. Reduced use or no use of these products protects our rivers and streams from harmful runoff. Visit a local native plant nursery to learn about native plants that are appropriate for your yard.
Steps for naturescaping
Make a site plan. Identify existing trees and plants, soil drainage, size limitations, sun exposure and other conditions.
Develop your naturescaping plan. Select native plants that match your yard’s opportunities.
Remove invasive plant species.
- Plant native plants and trees. The best time to plant is in late fall or early spring to allow native plants to establish.