The Master Gardener Volunteers of Hardin County recently held a program titled “GO NATIVE! A Native Plant Program.” The goal of the program was to increase both the public awareness of the need to include native plants in their landscapes as well as to train Master Gardener Volunteers on the topic. Over 75 attended the program.
A line-up of Ohio speakers included: Michele Banker from the Marianist Environmental Education Center in Beavercreek; Charles Gleaves, Executive Director of Kingwood Gardens in Mansfield; Ed Kapraly, owner of Riverside Native Trees in Delaware; and Dr. Dan Struve, Professor of Horticulture Emeritus, The Ohio State University and owner of Quail Ridge Specimen Tree Nursery in Oregonia.
The Go Native topics included a general overview of why it is important to plant natives, Herbaceous Native Plants, Native Trees and the Moth and Butterfly populations they support and how to grow native plants from seed.
Some interesting facts shared at the program included:
- The fact that Oak trees are hosts to 500 species of moths and butterflies. These insects add beauty and diversity into our landscapes and lives.
- Using native plants instead of cultivars of perennials support a wider range of pollinators because of the broader genetic make up found in the native plants.
- Native plants are better suited to our yearly conditions, cold in winter, hot and dry in summer, wet periods, or the clay based soil that hold water then dries as hard as a brick.
- When buying native plants, ask for the source and if systemic insecticides have been used on the plants, as this may have a negative effect on the insects we attract.
The day was a great success as The Ohio State University Extension Master Gardener Volunteers from 15 different county programs gained valuable information on growing native plants. This program received an Ohio MGV Continuing Education Grant to help with the cost of the program.