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It's Time to Garden!

It's spring time and for many people that means it is time to plant flowers. Here at Sierra Outdoor School we have five native plant gardens. With so many choices at your local hardware stores and plant nurseries, we encourage you to choose native plants when possible. We worked with our local chapter of the California Native Plant Society (CNPS) and with the California Garden Foundation to get funding and plants for our gardens. If you're interested in starting a native garden at home or at your school, check in with your local CNPS chapter and stores that carry native plants. Read on to see why native plants are a good choice and to see pictures of our gardens. Happy gardening!

Why should we grow California native plants?
  •  Native plants are adapted to the local climate and soil type (in your zone)
  • No fertilizers are required (mulch and compost instead)
  • Habitat and food for wildlife
  • Many are drought tolerant
  • Many aid in erosion control
  • More resistant to local fungal diseases and pests
  • Provide traditional uses (medicinally/culturally)
  • Minimum maintenance

Students finding "fun facts" about plants
Interpretive sign along with the lupine and Ceanothos
Sun tolerant natives at Juniper dorms

California wild rose
Gettysburg students helped plant on Earth Day 2009

    Why should we grow native California plants at home and/or school?

  • Low maintenance
  • Aesthetics (they're beautiful)
  • Education tool for social studies, science, math and English
  •  Provides a hands-on environment for students
  • Decreases the spread of invasive plants
  • Creates a sense of place unique to your area


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