Gardening with Native Plants - Eastern Washington

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Gardening with Native Plants - Eastern Washington

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  • 1. What are Native plants?The Natural WayNative plants are those that were present in a particular region before the arrival of Europeanto GrowAmericans. The native plants found in eastern Washington evolved with local microorganisms, insects, and wildlife and are adapted to the local climate and soils.Gardening with NativePlants of EasternWhy Use Native Plants? Hundreds of plant species are native to easternWashington Washington and many are interesting and beautiful enough to be used in garden settings. Using natives spring. This will give you an idea of the types of can benefit not only your yard or landscape, butplants that can grow in your garden soil. There are can also help maintain the diversity of the local flora also several books and booklets that can help you and fauna. Although large natural areas are better at identify the plants and what conditions they need to supporting diversity, numerous small areas help too.grow well; some of these are listed at the bottom of Below are some of the advantages of using nativethe brochure. plants: What are your goals in planting with natives? Are Native plants:you trying to reduce your water use, provide native are adapted to our climate of wet winters and hot,habitat for wildlife, or admire natives in your dry summers garden? If you are surrounded by desert areas, your require less water and generally less maintenance landscape design can even use native plants and the than non-natives once they are establishednatural spaces between them as a part of your fire improve water quality by needing less fertilizerbreak against wildfires. and no pesticides provide shelter, food and pollination opportunities Begin designing your native plant garden by for native wildlife walking around your yard evaluating the planting resist native pests and diseases better than non- space. Is the soil sandy or does it contain a lot of natives, and may provide habitat for native beneficialsilt and clay; is the area in full sun all day or insects shaded by your neighbors trees; or will the area save resources and encourage a sense of get overspray from existing sprinklers or from drip stewardship lines you set in place? Group plants according to Washington Native Plant Society similar water, light and soil needs. If you choose Columbia Basin Chapterplants suited to existing soil, water, and light Landscaping with Native Plantsconditions in your yard, they will thrive and you Before you start designing your garden, you might will have less work to maintain your beautiful want to take a walk through the desert in the spring. garden. Keep in mind many perennial plants An easy and fun way to learn what the plants look native to eastern Washington have deep rootsso like and get some design ideas is to go on a Native you want to plan carefully. Plant Society field trip to look at wildflowers in the

2. Finding Native Plants for Your Caring for Native Plants in the Tell our elected officials that you enjoy natural areas near our urban areas and that natural areas areGarden GardenbeautifulTo help preserve our rapidly diminishing natural Survival and growth of plants in eastern Pull out a non-native invasive plant and plant aareas, dont collect plants in the wild. NativeWashington depends strongly on their need for native in its placeplants are gaining acceptance by gardeners and are supplemental water. A rule of thumb is to provide Volunteer to help control the spread of invasivebecoming more common in the nursery trade. the plant with water equivalent to that received in weeds in your county - contact the county noxiousThere are a few nurseries carrying eastern its natural habitat. Some dryland plants tolerate weed control board to learn where you can help.Washington natives and more are starting all the additional water better than others. The plantingtime. Web sites listed at the end of this brochure guide included inside this brochure lists somecan provide up-to-date lists of these nurseries. Ifcommon species, their soil and exposure needs,Some Useful Resourcespossible, choose plants grown from local seedand some of their characteristics.These books and links will help you learn morestocks. Ask the nursery if they know where the about native plants in your garden and in the wild.seeds came from. Be aware of non-native plants A drip line or mini-sprinkler system is ideal, sincethat may be listed as noxious weeds in Washingtonthe water can be directed to particular plants andFor a current list of nurseries, check our web pagetoo and avoid using them.not on the ground between plants. Reducing waterat or between plants will also help reduce weeds. Natives Native plants require little attention, needing little if Books, Booklets, and LinksDig a hole large enough to allow the roots to hang - M. Anderson, 1995. Landscaping with Native any pesticides or fertilizers. Some natives will reseedstraight down without curling back up. Fill the hole Plants in Kittitas County. Department of Natural themselves in your garden. Periodic thinning can bewith water and let it drain before setting the plant inResources, WSU Cooperative Extension/Kittitas used to maintain "order" if your native species reseedthe hole, making sure the crown is at ground surface County, and City of Ellensburg project. Call DNR themselves more than you like. If a shrub is spreadingand firming the soil around the roots. A slight1-800-523-8733 to request a copy. by suckers, you can often control its spread bydepression can be left around the plant, especially if reducing the amount of water until the plant hasyoull be using drip irrigation to provide water for - T. Fitzgerald and M.D. Terrell, 2000. enough water to survive without unmanageableplants needing more than nature will provide.Landscaping with Native Plants in the Inland growth.Dryland shrubs, perennials and grasses can be plantedNorthwest. Washington State University, Spokanein the fall or early spring. For spring planting, plant as County, MISC0267.early as possible and provide water through the spring Help Preserve Native Plantsto get them established. They will not need waterEach of us can help preserve native plant species and - A.R. Kruckeberg, 1982. Gardening with Nativeafter roots establish. habitat. Youve already taken the first step by picking Plants of the Pacific Northwest. University of up and reading this brochure! Want to know more?Washington Press, Seattle, WA. Read on. Here are more suggestions on how to take action.- R.J. Taylor, 1992. Sagebrush Country: AWildflower Sanctuary. Mountain Press Publishing. Encourage others to plant natives in their yard and ask a local nursery to stock native plants- Washington State Noxious Weed Board Become active in your local chapter of the for up-to-date lists of Washington Native Plant Society plants that shouldnt be purchased Share information with friends and neighbors about how native plants contribute to the vitality of - Native American uses of some native plants. the ecosystems of eastern Washington 3. Native Plants Available from NurseriesCommon Name Botanical Name Height Soil TypeExposure CommentsTreesWestern juniper Juniperus occidentalis 20ASEvergreen, cinnamon to gray-brown barkPonderosa pinePinus ponderosa 100 A, DSLong needles, orange-brown to brown bark, very tall treeQuaking aspen Populus tremuloides30 A, MS, PSHeart-shaped leaves flutter in wind, turn gold in fallChokecherry Prunus virginiana20 A, MS, PSLarge clusters of white flowers, red fruit in early summerHawthornCrataegus douglasii10-20 AS, PSWhite flowers, small black fruit, can form thickets, thornyWater birch Betula occidentalis25-50 MS, PSSmooth dark reddish-brown barkGarry oak Quercus garryana 25-45A, DSDark green leathery leaves, red in fall, acornsShrubsSagebrush Artemisia tridentata2-6DSGray-green leavesBitterbrush Purshia tridentata2-6DSDark green leaves, yellow flowers in springGreen rabbitbrush Chrysothamnus viscidiflorus 2-3DSGreen leaves, yellow flowers in fallGray rabbitbrushEricameria nauseosa 2-4DSGray-green leaves, yellow flowers in fallPurple sage Salvia dorrii 2-4DSMinty smell, purple blossoms in spring into summerSnowberry Symphoricarpos albus3-4 A, MS, PSPink blossoms in spring, white berries in fallSnow buckwheatEriogonum niveum1-2DSPinkish-white flowers in fall, grayish-white foliageRock buckwheatEriogonum sphaerocephalum 1-2DSYellow flowers in late spring, rounded shapeMock orange Philadelphus lewisii 5-12 A, MS, PSWonderfully fragrant flowersGolden currantRibes aureum 6A, MS, PSGolden flowers and berries in springNootka rose Rosa nutkana 4A, MS, PSPink simple roses, red hips in fallServiceberryAmelanchier alnifolia8-20 A, MS, PSMultiple stems, beautiful white flowers, small black fruitHazelnutCorylus cornuta3-12 A, MS, PSMultiple stems, small edible nuts, catkins in springRed-osier dogwood Cornus stolonifera 8-12MS, PSMulti-stemmed shrub, red bark in winter, white berriesElderberrySambucus nigra10-15 A, MS, PSMultiple stems, hanging clusters of edible blue berriesSumac Rhus glabra8-12 A, MSDivided leaves turn brilliant red in fall, red seeds form stalkKinnickinnick Arctostaphylos uva-ursi8-12 A, MS, PSEvergreen groundcover, white flowers, red berriesBunchgrassesBluebunch wheatgrassPseudoroegneria spicata1-3 A S Straight stems with dense seed heads, clump up to 1 acrossSandbergs bluegrassPoa secunda8-12 A, D S Small clumps, stems twice as tall as leaf bladesSquirreltailElymus elymoides 1-2 D S Tufted large seed heads look like a squirreltailIndian ricegrassAchnatherum hymenoides 1-2 D S Seeds in a cloud above numerous fine leavesNeedle and thread grass Hesperostipa comata2-3A, D S Tall with very thin leaf blades and long awns on pointed seedsSand dropseed Sporobolus cryptandrus 1-2 A S Greens up later in spring, loosely op