Plants that are native to the region where you live are among the easiest to grow and maintain. That's because they are adapted to the specific environmental conditions--the type of soil, the amount of rainfall, the winter lows and summer high temperatures are all what native plants need to thrive and survive. It's unnecessary to fertilize many native plants because Mother Nature provides them with everything they need. All you need to do is scatter seeds or plant young native plants and then sit back and enjoy your natural landscape.
Prepare garden beds for your native plants in fall. Select sunny places in your yard and mark off beds by pounding a wooden, plastic or metal stake at each corner and then tying string to form a rectangle. Make beds at least 2 feet wide by 4 or 6 feet long. Pull all weeds and unwanted plants from the bed area.
Spread a 2- to 3-inch layer of any type of organic compost and other organic materials, such as peat moss, on top of the soil in your bed areas. Turn it under to a depth of 8 to 12 inches and then water the area with a sprinkler for 20 minutes or longer.
Broadcast seeds of many native species in fall. Follow seed packet instructions for correct planting depths, distances apart and other particulars regarding each type of seed. Water well for 15 to 20 minutes.
Dig planting holes for bedding plants that are large enough to accommodate the roots of each plant. Leave sufficient space between plants, based on their mature size. Then, set the native bedding plants into their planting holes and cover them with the soil/compost mixture. Water well for 15 to 20 minutes.
Spread a 2- to 3-inch layer of compost or other organic material on the ground around your plants to serve as a mulch to help keep the soil warm and moist and keep weeds away.
Control snails and slugs by scattering iron phosphate granules or diatomaceous earth on the soil around your new plants and sprouting seeds. If aphids or other insects attack your plants, spray them with insecticidal soap every other day until all signs of the insects are gone.