Seed catalogs are in – time to begin planning for landscaping your pond or lakeshore

Planning for lakeshore landscaping should begin when you start thinking about spring planting.

February 14, 2018 - Author: Beth Clawson, Michigan State University Extension

Spring seed catalogs have arrived.  For many, this is a time of year for planning and dreaming about the planting season and their summer gardens. If you live on a lake or stream property, shoreline planning and planting takes on additional dimensions beyond just selecting seeds. 

Plants required for shoreline properties need to be hardy and be able to withstand the frequent fluctuating wet and dry conditions. If you are planning to do a shoreline restoration or slow the effects of erosion, then you are likely going to seek plants with deep root systems.  The best plants for the job are native plants.  Indeed, they must be native plants by state law if you plan to plant below the high ordinary water mark. Planting native plants provides several benefits:

  • they are adapted to our environment
  • they are usually perennial, no need to replant every year
  • their deep and extensive root systems prevent erosion
  • they rarely require fertilizer
  • are just as attractive as hybrids
  • better suited for feeding native wildlife, bees and butterflies

Ensuring that only natives are planned and planted on your shoreline also helps protect Michigan’s environment from the introduction of non-native invasive plants.  Homeowners are also encouraged to remove non-natives and replace them with natives where they can. Whatever your choices are, planning your spring and summer garden is a time honored annual ritual for most gardeners in Michigan.  The choices you make now can have a positive impact far into the future.  Choose wisely.

For more information about Natural Shoreline Landscaping education or the Clean Boats, Clean Waters program contact Beth Clawson, MSU Extension Educator. To learn more about invasive organisms and invasive aquatic plants contact Michigan State University Extension  Natural Resources educators who are working across Michigan to provide aquatic invasive species educational programming and assistance. You can contact an educator through MSU Extension’s “Find an Expert” search tool using the keywords “Natural Resources Water Quality.”

Tags: landscaping, lawn & garden, msu extension, natural resources

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