For brown-thumbed gardeners such as myself, this is a welcome bit of news. Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) and the Saving Water Partnership have produced “The Plant List,” a guide to help you choose the right plant for the right place in your garden.
When choosing plants, the most important consideration should be whether a site provides the conditions a specific plant needs to thrive. Soil type, drainage, sun and shade all affect a plant’s health, appearance and maintenance needs.
The Plant List highlights trees, shrubs and other plants that will thrive in different conditions, including wet soils, dry soils and drought, as well as sunny and shady sites. The Plant List also offers a comprehensive list of native plants that are suited to the northwest.
“When gardeners match the right plant to the right place in their garden, the plants will flourish naturally” said Liz Fikejs, Acting Resource Conservation Manager with SPU. “The Plant List helps gardeners find beautiful plants that will thrive in their gardens without wasting water, pesticides and fertilizers trying to grow plants in places they are not suited.”
When planting new plants, Fikejs advises gardeners to dig one to three inches of compost into new beds – which helps sandy soils hold nutrients and water, and loosens clay soils – and spread a layer of mulch, such as leaves, wood chips, compost, or grass clippings around plants on the soil surface, keeping it about an inch away from stems.