Maintaining Native Plantings

There’s a saying in the native plant business;  “Low-maintenance doesn’t mean No maintenance”. 

Your number one task beside watering will be hand weeding.  You’ll likely have to hand weed regularly for the first 2-3 years until the native plants have thoroughly filled in and there is no more room for weeds to grow.  If you let the weeds take off in your new planting, they’ll probably end up taking over completely after a while.

Most of your native flowers and grasses will die back to the ground in late fall.  You can cut down the dead stems then, but many people prefer to leave them up over the winter for visual interest and bird habitat.  Many native bees overwinter in the dead hollow stems.  Whether you decide to cut down the dead plant material in the Fall or Spring (still optional), it’s recommended that you leave the bottom 18” standing for the bees, and leave the debris lying on the ground or gently move it to a more discrete part of your property.

You can add a fresh layer of chopped leaf mulch anytime you have access to it.

Don't forget to take time to enjoy your hard work and congratulate yourself on creating a positive impact for the environment!