Through Jan. 31, Whidbey Island Conservation District is accepting online orders for an assortment of Western Washington native species plants.
Native plants improve water quality, reduce soil and wind erosion, clean the air, reduce energy costs, attract and support local wildlife and beautify property. In fact, native plants are such a keystone to resource conservation that the Washington State Association of Conservation Districts has developed its own plant material center for growing and distributing native species.
Each year, bare root plants from the center are harvested during the dormant season and sold through participating conservation districts.
“Bare root plants are the most affordable way to spread natives, and winter is bare root season,” says Karen Bishop, district manager. “You can safely transport bare roots in cool conditions and plant any time the ground isn’t frozen. We really want to encourage people to plant natives because using non-natives just sets the stage for perpetual maintenance.
“This leads to extra watering, depletion of soil fertility, potential for invasive weeds to take hold and spread and the subsequent use of fertilizers and herbicides to manage these consequences.”
To view the complete plant list and to order online, go to www.whidbeycd.org or call 360-678-4708. Most plants are bare root and sold in bundles of five, while a few varieties are sold individually in small pots.
The plants are one- to two-years old, 6- to 36-inches tall, and most are priced under $2.50 each. Pick up for all confirmed orders will occur on Saturday, Feb. 24 at Camp Casey in Coupeville. On that same day, WICD will be partnering with Pacific Rim Institute for Environmental Stewardship, who will be offering some unique native prairie forbes and ground cover species.