5 Brilliant Ways to Go Native

I was staring off into space during a quiet moment at a recent trade show.

A woman appeared, laden with bags, and addressed me with a smile.  We chatted for a moment, and I invited her to have a seat.  As she settled herself into the chair, she said, “I’m of no use to you.”

Well now…that was an odd thing to say.  “Yes you are,” I answered.  “You are keeping me company!”

“What I mean,” she said, “is that I don’t buy sod.  I’m of no use to your company.  I’m just taking up space here in your booth!”

She was quick to admit that she had laid sod before and didn’t much enjoy it.  She was a landscape designer tending towards native plantings, and sod wasn’t really her thing.

The “native plantings” comment was the tip-off.  I hopped off my chair, grabbed a specific piece of literature and placed it in her hand.


Our Sod Goes Beyond Turf Grass

IMG_2395What I gave to her was our brochure that tells about the native sod we sell.

Did you know about that?  We go way beyond turf grass here at Green Thumb Farm!  We sell, among other things, blueberry sod, hay-scented fern sod, bunchberry sod, haircap moss sod and huckleberry sod.

Try buying any of those at a garden center!  In fact, try buying those from a re-wholesaler.  Sure…you may be able to buy blueberry sod if you ask for it and it gets special-ordered for you, and you may be able to buy many of these plants separately in pots.

But what if you want to cover some serious ground?   You can choose the expensive way, planting separate pots that allow every weed seed in the soil to sprout long before your individual plants cover ground.

Or, you can use the economical and instant covering method with one of our fine native sod products.

The Candidates for Your Next Native Plant Project

Here’s a quick run-down:

  • Bunchberry: Cornus canadensis.  This is a groundcover, 3-6” tall, that is part of the dogwood family.  Pretty neat, huh?  It has a white flower, red edible berries in late summer and thrives in moist, cool and partially shady areas.  Zones 2-6.
  • Haircap Moss: Polytrichum commune.  If you have a client who doesn’t want grass and has a shady yard with soil tending towards moist, consider this bright green moss that likes to grow in large patches.  No mowing!  All Zones (yes, that means worldwide!).
  • Huckleberry: Gaylussacia baccata. This is one of those tough-as-nails plants, like blueberry, that grow practically anywhere, except in wet areas.  They thrive in dry woods and ledges in shade or no shade.  In the wild they often co-mingle with lowbush blueberries, especially in places like Cape Cod where the two combined dominate the woodlands there.  Huckleberry blooms pink in the spring followed by an edible blue berry.  Zones 5-9.
  • Lowbush Blueberry: Vaccinium angustifolium. This is the perfect groundcover for dry, sunny areas.  A high acid soil helps too.  In addition to the zillions of blue berries these produce (loved by birds, critters and people alike!), they offer a gorgeous maroon fall display and red twigs in the winter.  Zones 3-7.
  • Hay-Scented Ferns: Dennstaedtia punctilobula: Yes, they smell like hay.  They prefer moist, shady woods, and that’s where you find them thriving in large bunches.  They spread like the dickens and maybe that’s because deer don’t much like them.  Zones 3-8.

This impressive collection is what excited that woman I met at the tradeshow.  You can be sure that when she thinks about native sod, she’s going to think about us.  She thought we didn’t have anything for her but in fact, we did, and what’s more, we got a blog post out of it!

What about you?  Have you used native sod in your landscape projects?  Tell us about it!








One Comment

  1. A few years ago I’d have to pay someone for this information.

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