A healthy lawn can out-compete most weeds, survive most insect attacks, and fend off most diseases-before these problems ever get the upper hand. The easiest way to get a healthy lawn? By caring for your plants in an environmentally friendly way: use native plants!
Native plants have evolved and adapted to local conditions. These are plants that have been growing in Massachusetts for hundreds of years and can handle almost anything mother nature can throw at them. They are vigorous and hardy, surviving winter cold and summer heat. Once established, they require little to no watering or fertilization and they are resistant to most pests and diseases. So, native plants suit today's interest in "low-maintenance" gardening and landscaping.
Using native plants can help reduce your overall landscape maintenance costs by reducing the amount of water, fertilizer and time needed to maintain a garden of all “ornamental” plants. It is often thought using native plants means that the garden will look messy, unkempt and abandoned, but that does need to be the case. With a little planning and forethought, you can create a landscape that not only works for nature, but is beautiful and easy to maintain, too. Native gardens will also attract birds and butterflies to the yard.
Each of us can play a part in managing a yard that restores the ecological integrity of the landscape. You can start by re-imagining your yard as part of a continuous habitat, connected to larger natural processes in the region.
A story of a couple who remade their backyards with ecological landscaping.
For more information on native lawn care:
Native Plant Lists
Recommended Books and Websites