Gardening tips: Indigenous plants assist insects, wildlife

Introducing native plants to the yard is a venture value investigating as the active planting and expanding year techniques

Pricey Helen: In your closing column of previous yr you dealt with the alarming decline in insect and hen populations. You mention like indigenous vegetation in dwelling gardens as a person way to assistance guidance these populations. How do these vegetation aid?


A response from another reader to that column contained a in-depth, attention-grabbing response to your problem. Mary, who gardens in Cobble Hill, wrote to explain to me about a e-book she had study: Nature’s Most effective Hope, by Dr. Doug Tallamy.

The e-book proposes that a key lead to of decrease in insect and other wildlife populations is destruction of the indigenous plants that have supported them in their regional ecosystems, which have advanced over the ages.

Tallamy urges house entrepreneurs to turn their properties into “conservation corridors” of wildlife habitat by exploring values over and above just aesthetics to consist of the wants of the regional ecology.

It’s a venture value investigating as the energetic planting and developing time approaches. I value the native plants in my yard. Sword ferns dot the landscape with their indestructible sprays of arching stems. Lacy crimson huckleberry shrubs bear tiny coral berries for the birds.

Salal and Oregon grape type patches of ornamental, no-treatment ground deal with. In spring, I appear forward to the early blooming of purple flowering currant and the wonderful patches of western trillium in bloom.

Expensive Helen: I had prepared to get seeds for the Siderno patio tomato you have prepared about, from the William Dam Seeds catalogue. It is not listed in this year’s print catalogue, although I located in on their on-line catalogue. Why would there be distinctive listings on the two formats?


That is not unconventional. On line listings are typically additional comprehensive than these in the print versions. The 2022 William Dam print catalogue lists two patio tomatoes, each kinds new to the catalogue: Small Bing, and Minor Napoli. No Siderno.

The very last time I seemed at the on the internet variation, Siderno was stated with the patio tomatoes, but it was marked “Sold Out.” Little Napoli, a excellent compact Roma tomato, was stated as still accessible but Minor Bing and Tiny Tim, an additional dwarf tomato for container cultivation, ended up each marked as sold out.

The edge in consulting on-line seed listings is the up to date facts to be located there on what is still obtainable. It is only this yr that I’ve started to experience considerably comfy buying seeds on the internet, making use of a demand card with a reduced limit. It is a easy way to acquire wished seeds as speedily as feasible.

It is unavoidable that more corporations every 12 months will go completely on the internet. Lee Valley Resources, Stokes Seeds, and our possess Salt Spring Seeds no for a longer time make print catalogues for prospects. The current world-wide lack of paper is no question introducing to the craze.

Dear Helen: Last year I laid landscape fabric all around a newly mounted greenhouse and lined the fabric with a “road base” mixture. Modest clumps of grass appeared in the aggregate — also numerous to pull by hand. Is there a safe and sound herbicide I could use?


The safest treatment would be an acetic acid herbicide sprayed onto the grasses. These herbicides are most helpful utilized when the weeds are still youthful and on a dry, sunny working day.

Treatment desires to be taken to immediate the alternative properly on to just the weeds. It will burn up and injury fascinating plantings, and can melt away skin and eyes. To avert the spray from drifting, prevent applying it on times with any wind.

A different possibility would be to use 10 for each cent (washing) vinegar, with 1 Tbsp dishwashing cleaning soap additional to each and every gallon of the vinegar to enable it unfold and stick on the weeds.

Whether or not a sprayer or watering can is employed, rinse it out completely afterward, to remove any possibly plant-harming residues.

VHS meeting. The Victoria Horticultural Society is web hosting a Zoom conference on Tuesday, Feb. 1, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. The showcased speaker will be Karl Gercens, conservatory supervisor at Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania. He is now operating on their exhibit gardens, which include a new Mediterranean-inspired landscape opening in 2024. He is also a noted garden photographer. His subject matter will address our sub-Mediterranean Victoria climate in his communicate, Pushing the Restrictions! Plant assortment and design influenced by gardens in Australia, New Zealand and the British Isles. Fall-in rate for non-associates is $5.

To sign-up, visit the Victoria Horticultural Culture web page.

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