This year, the Redbud plant sale will feature California Native Plants to Heal the Land.
How Native Plants Heal the Land
Native plants are beautiful, resilient, and essential to the health of our ecosystems, plant communities, and soils. They purify water and enhance the ability of soil to hold water. They restore aquifers, reduce run-off, and prevent erosion. They sustain native wildlife and enrich our soils through complex interactions with mycorrhizae and other micro-organisms.
Because they are adapted to local conditions, they require less water, and little or no fertilizer, pesticides, or herbicides.
How the Land Needs Healing
In 2017, after four years of drought followed by one very wet winter, fires ravaged much of California. In Nevada County, the Pleasant, Lobo, and McCourtney fires together burned almost 1300 acres in September and October, destroying dozens of structures.
The sterilized, lifeless, and water-repellant soils and charred vegetation that result from high-intensity fires need many years to recover. Fortunately, native plants can speed this process dramatically.
Beyond the fires, too much of the land in our counties has had decades of neglect and abuse that have led to dense overstocking of conifers and shrubs, weakening these plants and leaving them vulnerable to pests, diseases and drought. Soils have been depleted and contaminated, ecosystems disrupted, and habitats degraded or destroyed. Such conditions have often lead to encroachment by invasive non-native plants that crowd out the native vegetation. They also have greatly increased the danger of fire.
The loss of natural diversity and habitat destruction have deprived pollinators, birds, and other wildlife of food and shelter.
Our Sale Will Feature Native Plants that Heal the Land
The 2018 sale will feature approximately 200 species of trees, shrubs, perennials, grasses, and many hard-to-find species that are either locally native or locally adapted natives.
The wide range of native plant species offered at our sale can help heal the land in a variety of ways. For instance, we will feature deep-rooted native grasses, some with roots that grow as much as 15 to 20 feet deep. These grasses add nutrients, enrich the soil by attracting beneficial microorganisms, and purify and transfer water deep underground. They also sequester carbon, which improves the capacity of the soil to hold water (thus enabling plants to better survive drought).
Other native plants, including ceanothus (native California lilacs) and legumes such as lupines, enrich the soil and heal the land by fixing nitrogen. Still others provide strong roots and a cover of vegetation that prevent loss of topsoil and reduce soil temperatures.
At the plant sale, you’ll also find many of the natives on our lists of drought- and fire-resistant plants.
When fall and winter rains arrive, native plants reawaken, establish strong roots, and flourish. It’s a perfect time to plant!
The 2018 List of Plants for the Sale
The list of plants for the 2018 sale will be posted by October 6th or before. Look for it HERE. Until then, you’ll see the 2017 list, which gives an idea of what we’ll have this year.
We hope you’ll find just what you’re looking for at the Redbud Native Plant Sale on October 13th!