Catawba County News

Weeds, No; Natives, Yes

Weeds, No; Natives, Yes

Published: August 15, 2018

If you love gardening, you understand that keeping chosen plants looking good necessitates constantly combatting unwanted intruders. Sometimes, the troublemakers are volunteers of existing plants, but they’re often nuisances like Bermuda grass, nutsedge, plantain, and dandelions.

And for a garden to flourish with the least amount of work, native plants are considered a best bet. Since they’re suited to the region’s soil and climate, they’re happy to grow without excess water, extra attention, or other coddling. And especially when temperatures reach for the extremes, that sort of trustworthiness is a terrific benefit.

Next week, the library welcomes experts to share more information about both of these plant topics: the unwanted and the wanted.

Dr. George Place of the Catawba County Cooperative Extension will be talking about how to achieve victory over weeds. He’ll take a multi-pronged approach that provides options in how you deal with the troublesome plants. The first step is learning to identify what a weed is, followed by advice on avoiding ones that can cause some type of physical upset, such as poison ivy. Then, the talk gets more active, focusing on how to control weeds and, ultimately, how to kill them if all else fails.

Taking a different tack, then, Dr. Place will share information on spotting and eating edible weeds! Many things that we’re hoping to dispose of can actually be consumed, with health benefits and mimicking produce that we buy. And wouldn’t it be great to get something useful from plants that we’re only seeking to eliminate anyway? Come see what you could be eating rather than spraying!

Anelle Ammons, also of the Catawba County Cooperative Extension, will be addressing plants that we want to keep, ones that are already well suited to our area. These native plants have evolved to flourish in western North Carolina’s clay soil and climate zone, and they’re easier to care for (and keep living!) than imports that may be pretty but won’t perform as well out of their element.

Ammons will offer tips on how to identify and purchase native plants and provide more details on why they’re an advantage for gardeners. Best of all, she’ll supply the names of a variety of great specimens that you can incorporate into your own garden – for performance, longevity, seasonal color, and more!

The Advanced Gardener session on controlling weeds takes place Tuesday, August 21 at 6:30 pm at the Main Library in Newton and again on Tuesday, August 28 at 6:30 pm at the Maiden Branch Library.

The seminar on native plants takes place Tuesday, August 21 at 4 pm at the Conover Branch Library and again on Thursday, August 23 at 2 pm at the Claremont Branch Library.