Understanding the native plants growing in your garden can be difficult, but one TikToker is clearing that up.
TikToker @solarpunkfarmer is an agroecologist — someone who applies ecological principles to gardening. His videos share tips and tricks to help your garden look as beautiful as possible, all while being environmentally conscious.
One of his recent videos works to debunk the myths that planting native plants is harmful, including the “native to when” argument, which questions how plants can be native when they spread and change location often.
“You should incorporate native plants wherever possible,” he says in the clip.
The TikToker argues that “native plants have coevolved with their ecologies for thousands of years,” meaning that they function better in their known environment — allowing them to benefit the wildlife more than harm it.
As a result, he recommends planting native wildlife whenever possible.
You can do this by researching what plants are native to your area and then transporting wild plants into your garden or collecting seeds.
If you transplant a whole plant, you will want to stick with smaller plants that have fewer roots, dig up as much of the root as possible, and keep the roots damp while they’re out of the ground. Then, you’ll want to replant it in a hole that is the same depth as the original and twice as wide.
How it’s helping
Including native plants in your garden is a great way to save money — you can get them straight from nature, and they don’t require as much, if any, fertilizer and pesticides because they have already adapted to local predators.
“They have had thousands of years or more to develop relationships with the other flora and fauna that inhabit that ecosystem,” @solarpunkfarmer says in his clip.
He goes on to add that introducing non-native plants to the environment can cause these relationships to break down.
Plus, limiting the number of chemicals that you use in your garden will benefit the environment as well — pesticides have harmful ingredients that can contaminate local water and wildlife.
What everyone’s saying
Many TikTokers agreed with the video.
“Non-native plants also have brought so many invasive insects and disease in,” they wrote.
The nonprofit Homegrown National Park also voiced its support and shared a way for gardeners to learn more.
“We have lots of resources to help you get started planting native!” the group wrote.
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