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Helpful answers to readers' questions. Go ahead - just ask EcoBeneficial

Can You Suggest “Living Mulch” for a Garden in Illinois?

Question: I have a couple beds of Ninebarks and Viburnums and they’ve been there about two or three years. So I’m thinking it’s time to create a living mulch around them. Can you recommend a few plants for ground cover that have ecological benefits, and will fill in around these…

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What Are Some Deer-Resistant Flowering Native Perennials for a Wet Meadow?

Question: What are some native, deer-resistant flowering perennials for wet meadows in the Northeast? Answer: As you likely know, no plant is deer bomb-proof.  In the absence of adequate forage, deer will browse just about anything. Young fawns and does may nibble on plants that make them sick, as they…

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Should I buy Winterberry cultivars or straight species plants? Will deer browse Winterberry?

Question: I understand that berries of some winterberry cultivars may be too big for birds and may have less nutrition. Should I buy winterberry cultivars? I am in Maryland and have not seen the straight species anywhere. Will deer browse winterberry? Answer: I prefer to use straight species plants whenever…

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Sources of Information on the Wildlife Value of Native Plants?

Question: Some areas near me have added native plants to their gardens and I want to demonstrate to the residents how much of an impact they have had on the environment in doing so.  Do you know of a resource that could explains which specific animals/birds/insects are supported by specific…

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What Are These Bugs on My Butterflyweed?

Question: It’s September and I’m noticing a lot of bugs on my Butterflyweed.  What are they and should I do anything about them? Answer: Your Butterflyweed (Asclepias tuberosa) has a robust population of two types of insects, commonly found on milkweeds – Oleander Aphids and Large Milkweed Bug nymphs.  They…

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My Clients Want to Support Wildlife, But Don’t Want a Messy Landscape

Question: My clients want to leave their landscape natural, to support wildlife, but don’t want it to look like a mess.  Help! Answer: Thanks for your question.  There can be a lot of confusion with clients about native landscapes and what they can or “should” look like.  First, as with…

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