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SWCD offering native plant kits

2/14/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

CUYAHOGA FALLS — The Summit Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) is offering several different types of native plant kits for sale this spring. Each kit contains 38 native plant plugs and costs $100. There are five types of kits available, with 10-12 varieties of native plants in each kit.

The Rain Garden kit includes swamp milkweed, New England aster, brown fox sedge, broad-leaved purple coneflower, blue flag, marsh blazing star, wild quinine, foxglove beard tongue, sweet black-eyed susan, prairie dropseed, common spiderwort and culver’s root.

The Butterfly/Bird kit has butterfly milkweed, wild columbine, New England aster, tickseed, prairie clover, broad-leaved purple coneflower, rough blazing star, foxglove beard-tongue, black-eyed susan, prairie dropseed, common spiderwort and common ironweed.

The Xerces Society Pollinator kit contains bottle gentian, blue wild indigo, lavender hyssop, purple prairie clover, wild bergamot, New England aster, broad-leaved purple coneflower, yellow coneflower, ridell’s goldenrod, and prairie dropseed. (The Xerces Society is a nonprofit organization that protects wildlife through the conservation of pollinators such as bees and other invertebrates and their habitats. To find out more about the society, go to www.xerces.org.)

The Shade kit includes wild columbine, heart-leaved aster, hairy pagoda plant (hairy wood mint), tall bellflower, New Jersey tea, common wood reed, bottlebrush grass, smooth beard-tongue, broad-leaved goldenrod, common spiderwort, culver’s root and golden alexanders.

The Wetland kit contains sweet flag, swamp milkweed, New England aster, porcupine sedge, brown fox sedge, queen of the prairie, fowl manna grass, sneezeweed, smooth rose mallow, blue flag, great blue lobelia and swamp rose.

The Summit SWCD will accept orders for the native plants until March 29. Payment must accompany the order. Credit cards are not accepted, and the correct amount of cash should be brought to the office. Do not mail cash. The native plant kits will be shipped to individual addresses, with deliveries beginning early in May. There is no additional charge for shipping.

According to SWCD officials, rain gardens are a beautiful addition to any lot and will provide curb appeal and other benefits. During a rainstorm event, rain gardens help to reduce flooding problems by collecting and slowing down water, allowing the water to infiltrate slowly, during a 24- to 48-hour period, according to SWCD officials. A rain garden collecting runoff from a 1,000-square-foot roof area in Summit County can filter more than 19,000 gallons of rainwater annually. Rain gardens also help to control erosion and sediment loss because native plants have long roots that hold the soil in place and filter out pollutants, according to SWCD officials.

Once established, native plants require little maintenance and provide habitat for beneficial native insects and other wildlife, and do not need pesticides or herbicides, according to SWCD officials. In addition, they require little or no fertilizer because they thrive in local soil conditions.

For more information, call the Summit SWCD office at 330-929-2871, ext. 16.

Rain garden manuals are available under the publications tab at www.summitswcd.org.

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