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  • Pamela Sleightholm

Top Reasons to Add Native Plants Around Your Veggie Patch and Fruit Trees

By Pamela Sleightholm

For the backyard fruit and veggie grower, including native plants in your spring plantings can provide big advantages to your crops!

1.      Supporting Biodiversity

Native plants play a crucial role in supporting wildlife, including birds, bees, butterflies and beneficial insects. They attract insects and provide the food and shelter they need.

By integrating these plants in your vegetable garden or near fruit trees, you create a welcoming environment for these beautiful creatures, who as a bonus, will help pollinate some of your plants!

Native squash bees are specialist insects that pollinate squash. They nest in the ground, often in locations near the plant. Watch for ground-nesting bees holes and do not till the soil in those areas!. Photo: Katy Ciola Evans

2.      Pest Control

Some native flowering plants attract beneficial predatory insects, like ladybugs, lacewings and hoverflies, who like to chow down on aphids and other garden pests. Native plants can be part of your natural defense system, reducing pest infestations.

3.      Enhancing Soil Health

Native plants are adapted to our local soil and climate conditions, which allow them to thrive with very little intervention. As they grow, their deep roots reach below the surface, improving soil structure and promoting nutrient absorption.

4.      Weed Suppression

Using native plants strategically in your garden can act as natural weed suppressors. Choosing species that grow densely or shade the soil can lessen the chances that weeds will pop up in the first place.

By incorporating native plants into your vegetable gardens or around your fruit trees, you'll enjoy benefits beyond aesthetics. These hardy species support the local ecosystem, nurture soil, combat weeds, and help manage pests. So embrace the advantages of native plants to enhance your garden's productivity and ecological balance.


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