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Old 08-08-2013, 05:24 PM   #1
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Default The Root of It All: Native plants for pollinators and companion planting

The Root of It All: Native plants for pollinators and companion planting
August 04, 2013 5:30 am
PATTI NAGAI Horticulture educator, Racine County UW-Extension

The Root of It All: Native plants for pollinators and companion planting
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Please tell me more about the use of native plants in the landscape, and their role in supporting pollinators. I haven’t been seeing as many bees; if I planted more flowers in my yard would it help? —Ken, Wind Point.
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Native plants play a very important role in our landscape, not only in the preservation of local plant types, but also in their support role in insect and animal life.

Flowering plants around vegetable gardens and orchards attract bees and other pollinators for fruit production, and many native plants support our local and migrating birds, in addition to butterflies...
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Old 08-28-2013, 02:18 PM   #2
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I tried to read the article but it said I have read my freebies and need to subscribe. Even though I didn't get to read the article I agree wholeheartedly with the excerpts posted. Native plants keep bees handy for food pollination so even if you consider yourself a food gardener not a wildlife or habitat gardener you will still benefit greatly from using native plants that bloom throughout the seasons, as companion plants to your vegetable/fruit garden.
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Old 08-29-2013, 06:07 AM   #3
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Don't worry Gloria, there was only one more paragraph, the format was sort of an "ask the horticulturist" Q & A -

"It is not that difficult to incorporate native plants, but it is important to choose carefully. Look at the bloom time and flower color, but also the height and spread of the plant. There are many native flowers that get more than six feet tall, which is great in a prairie or perhaps the back of a flower bed, but maybe not so fabulous for your front garden. Yellow coneflower is a great example. This species works well in rain gardens and has beautiful yellow flowers from mid-July through August, but it gets six feet tall, taller if really happy, and waves in the breeze. It needs supporting tall grasses or another sturdy plant near it for support."
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Old 08-29-2013, 09:28 AM   #4
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This is another good example of how native plant enthusiasts and organic gardeners can be brought closer together. Both groups recognize the critical importance of pollinators, and the two groups working together can be more successful than either group working alone. Using native plants and good land husbandry practices will help sustain native pollinator populations, and the reduced use of pesticides will help maintain the pollinator populations.
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Old 08-30-2013, 12:20 PM   #5
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Thanks linrose. Short but mainstream recognition of the link between native plants and the pollinators for organic gardens is always appreciated.

NEWisc, agreed, and not just pollinators but also the many beneficial insects and micro-organisms that habituate native plantings and surrounding soils.
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