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4)  Native Gardens are Low Maintenance and Save You Money

The fourth advantage that native gardens have over traditional gardens is that they don't require a lot of time or money to maintain. After the plants are established, only hand-trimming (if you want to) and weeding are needed. Once the community is established even weeding takes little time if the garden is properly mulched. Thus it is possible to avoid the costs of using fertilizer, soil amendments, insecticides, herbicides, or other chemicals, and there are no machines needed for mowing, leaf blowers are not necessary, and no gardeners need be hired.
The absence of maintenance costs is balanced by the costs associated with installation. Native gardens generally do best when one starts with a clean palette and there are labor and disposal costs associated with taking out old lawns and gardens. Natives also require mulch to imitate what they have in nature, and which helps them function as a xeriscape garden.

However, all of the above costs are expenses that would accrue from the installation of any type of new garden. They are not specific to native gardens. In fact, there is an installation-related savings that local native gardens have over others: they do not need sprinkler systems. Since deep watering is seldom needed after a garden is established, a sprinkler system is not a cost-effective investment and can be dispensed with altogther.

All things considered, perhaps the only disadvantage of a low maintenance native garden is for those who like to work in the garden. With a local native garden there is often not much to do but enjoy its beauty, take in the rich scents, and watch the bees and butterflies. Of course, the time you put in pruning and trimming natives throughout the year will reward you with a more ordered appearance. Its just that the health and beauty of the plants don't depend on it.

Questions? Comments? Please feel free to contact us
by e-mail at northparknativeplants@yahoo.com
or by phone at 619-846-0585.
We look forward to hearing from you.

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