Green Neighbors Program

The Clark County Green Neighbors Program was developed and is maintained by Clark County Solid Waste and Environmental Outreach to assist citizens with developing more sustainable lifestyles and building a strong environmental community in Clark County. Solid waste regional planning and programs are a cooperative effort of Battle Ground, Camas, Clark County, La Center, Ridgefield, Vancouver, Washougal, and Yacolt. Funding for this project provided by a grant from the Washington State Department of Ecology.

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Plant Sales Abound: How to find a good plant

Plant Sales Abound: How to find a good plant

It's spring and the landscape is blossoming into color! A variety of organizations are having plant sales as fundraisers for their programs. Check out our links below to find one near you.

Why should you buy plants from these sales rather than the supermarket? If not to support these local programs and the students and volunteers who grew the plants, buying locally grown plants is better for the environment and these plants are often healthier. Supermarket plants are sometimes transported long distances in cramped conditions which can cause the plant stress and damage. A plant that has been grown from seed with loving hands in a local greenhouse will be much livelier. Likewise, supermarket plants may have been in contact with diseased plants along its travel whereas plants in these local sales were grown in smaller greenhouses where diseases could be better detected and controlled.

Another thing to consider when looking for plants is to buy native species. Native species are well-adapted to the local climate and pests so they will require less maintenance and thrive in your yard. These plants will also attract local wildlife and pollinators. Find lists of native species here or ask about native species available at the sales.

When you're looking for a plant, don't just shop with your eyes. Some plants may look really appealing when you buy them, but if you cannot provide the proper soil or sunlight for them, they will lose their luster. Some plants take more attention than others or are more susceptible to diseases, so be sure that you know more about the plant than the color of its petals when you make your choice. These local plant sales are full of experts with knowledge about these plants that you rarely find in the supermarket, so invest in their wisdom. The Master Gardeners will be at their annual Mother's Day Plant Sale, May 12 -13, to offer expert advice and tips. They also provide a variety of workshops throughout the year.

In an urban jungle that is becoming more concrete than green, it is important to provide chemical-free flowering plants, edible plants, and clean water for wildlife passing through. Our pollinators are especially susceptible to herbicides and pesticides used on plants, especially those used on monoculture agriculture. You don't have to own your own hive to help the bees and humming birds; even just a few potted flowers on you porch can make a difference.

Plants aren't just for wildlife and aesthetic; growing your own food is healthier and can save money. Consider buying edibles that you can use in your kitchen or share with neighbors. A hanging tomato plant or potted herb can liven up any home, even an apartment. Or consider renting a plot in a community garden.

Can't make it to these plant sales? Local farmers markets have vendors selling a variety of plants and locally-grown produce every weekend!

Looking for more inspiration? Visit the Naturally Beautiful Backyards demonstration gardens at Pacific Park and mark your calendar for the Natural Garden Tour on July 15 to see how some of your neighbors have made their yards a paradise for themselves and their local ecosystem.

Want more natural gardening techniques? Peruse the extensive resources on Naturally Beautiful Backyards page.

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