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New guide encourages gardeners to plant non-invasive species

By Brad Perry Jul 31, 2023 | 2:25 PM

Gardeners in the Maritimes have a new tool to help them grow non-invasive plants in their gardens.

Invasive species councils in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia have launched the Grow Me Instead guide.

Claire Ferguson is the outreach and communications coordinator with the New Brunswick Invasive Species Council

She said the guide lists a number of invasive plants found in our region and their recommended native alternatives.

“We had many people reaching out that had been dealing with invasive species and were looking for native alternatives that they could plant instead,” Ferguson said in an interview.

The guide is the first of its kind in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, according to Ferguson.

She said the local tool is modelled after similar guides in other provinces and New England.

Ferguson said the non-invasive species listed in the guide are native to the Wabanaki forest region, which encompasses areas of northern New England, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and the Gaspé Coast.

“These are plants that we have picked that are specifically native to this region that will survive well, that will grow in your garden,” Ferguson.

“We also looked at their availability in the province, so we want to make sure that people can get their hands on these plants, as well as their ability to have similar growing conditions and looks to the invasive plants.”

Ferguson said many invasive plants outcompete native plants and can have detrimental effects on our ecosystem.

“It causes this rippling effect where our wildlife and insects that have been adapted to our native plant communities are negatively impacted,” she said.

Invasive species can also change our ability to be more resilient to climate change and can impact our ability to enjoy outdoor spaces, said Ferguson.

She said the guide is not intended to be a recommended ban on these plants, but rather a tool to educator gardeners.

Ferguson said their goal is to gradually shift the market away from invasives by increasing demand for alternatives, thus ensuring that businesses are not negatively impacted.

You can download a copy of the guide by clicking here.


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