Tips, Tricks, and Techniques Written by: ELA Staff Zach McElgunn and Amy Nyman, Horticulture Outreach Manager, New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill This month, ELA takes some quick tips,…
Building a Native Habit on a Retaining Wall
I have a 35-year-old retaining wall running the length of my driveway behind my house. I would like to get rid of the ferns and plant something to attract birds/bees/etc. How can I do this without digging up and disturbing the soil sitting above the retaining wall?
Eco-Answers from the Pros
I am currently working on a pollinator project in Staten Island, NY. I’m planning on growing natives from seed. Suppose I were to procure seed from Prairie Moon Nursery in order to add more diversity. Would I be helping or hindering as these seeds originate from a different ecoregion?
I’m struggling to find a good resource for conifers and cultivars that are well suited for a Maine landscape. I would like to plant evergreens for a privacy screening that doesn’t get above twenty feet. Could you recommend any good reference books with plenty of images? Would you recommend planting strictly native evergreens rather than other cultivars from other parts of the world?
In areas where I am trying to grow ground covers that self-spread, I haven’t been using mulch, thinking the mulch will hinder the self-spread of the desired ground cover. Thus weeds and other things I didn’t want to grow in that space do fill in. Is it recommended to use mulch even when the ultimate goal is to have the ground covered with plants? Mulch will save me a lot of weeding time.
I was given a house for bees, but the literature seems to say it is inadequate because the length of tubes is only 3 inches long and should be 7 inches minimum. Is this correct? Why do the tubes need to be so deep?
Can you please explain to me the benefits of planting native trees over exotic trees? I thought having more exotic trees meant less risk for common diseases on native tree species; however, the process of naturalization indicates a focus on native tree planting over exotic. Is it true exotic trees are more expense to purchase than native ones?