Skip to main content

Stride into spring gardening with healthy soil and native plants

Three photos of flowers. From left to right, the colors of the flowers are orange, pink, and purple.

Sunshine is pushing the “Big Dark” days of the Pacific Northwest away for another year. As we all shake off the slower winter days, you may be eyeing your garden with renewed motivation.

Early spring is a great time to dig into natural yard care practices that will help set your garden up for the rest of the growing season. Follow these tips to grow a beautiful yard while protecting the environment and your family’s health.

Get your plants thriving with compost instead of chemicals.

Healthy soil keeps plants growing stronger for longer and can even filter and break down pollutants so that they don’t end up in local waterways and threaten the health of fish and other aquatic wildlife. You can build better soil with one easy action: add compost. Compost is naturally produced by decaying organic matter like leaves, plants, and food scraps.

Reaching for chemical products to get your garden thriving quickly can be tempting, but they can cause harm to people, pets, and wildlife. Even natural and organic pesticides can harm to beneficial insects like pollinators, so use them only if necessary and take care to follow the instructions for use. To give your soil a safer boost this spring, mix 1-3 inches of compost into the soil when making new garden beds or planting a lawn.

Choose the right plants for the right place.

Before you load up your arms with all the plants from your local nursery, first check the area where you want to plant. See if the soil is soggy, dry, or somewhere in between, and observe how much sun the area gets throughout the day. Knowing these things will help you pick plants that thrive where you want to plant them.

Consider picking native plants that are adapted to the local environment. Native plants require less water to grow and are more resistant to pests, so they’re generally easier to care for. Plus, you won’t be compromising on beautiful blooms or impressive color in your yard if you choose native plants – just check out orange honeysuckle, pink trillium, and blue camas plants if vibrancy is your vibe. Use King County’s Native Plant Guide to search for a specific native plant that would work best in your yard.

Check out local gardening classes or call the Garden Hotline to learn more.

Local gardening classes can teach you even more about natural yard care practices – including gardening in containers for those with limited space. Keep an eye on our events page for upcoming classes. You might even make a new friend! At the very least, you’ll walk away better equipped to grow and maintain a healthy yard that contributes to preventing pollution in our region.

If you can’t attend a class, give the experts at Garden Hotline a call from Monday through Saturday at 206-633-0224.

Photo credits: Greg Rabourn

Recent stories

Stay Connected

Sign up for the latest news and information about our services