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Carltom SWCD news: Plant pollinator habitat with SWCD

The Carlton Soil and Water Conservation District has been busy helping community members plant pollinator habitat in their backyards and is eager to do it again this year by offering native plant kits and a rain garden workshop.

Native grasses and wildflowers provide critical habitat for our bees, butterflies, songbirds and many other types of wildlife that use the vegetation for shelter and food. Low-cost and low-maintenance, native plantings do not require fertilizing, regular mowing, or irrigation, and have a positive effect on the soil. Their extensive fibrous root systems, which can grow down to 15 feet, reduce erosion, restore soil health, and filter runoff before it enters streams and lakes.

The Carlton SWCD will be holding its third annual Native Plant Kit sale after hosting the biggest sale in Minnesota last year.

This year's sale will include two new native plant kits and seed mixes: Buckthorn Replacement Kit, Lakeshore Stabilization Kit, and Buckthorn Replacement Seed Mix and Bee Lawn Seed Mix. Other native plant kits for sale include Monarch, Pine Mulch, Rain Garden, Deer Resistant, Raingarden, Shade, and the 2021 favorite: Pollinator Kit.

Each $60 kit has six species that offer showstopping blooms spring through fall, totaling 36 plant plugs that cover about 150 square feet. The plants are supplied by Minnesota Native Landscapes, which ensures the kits are designed to be easy to plant and maintain. The kits provide a mix of colors and plant heights to provide habitat and food for pollinators and other beneficial insects.

It's easy to integrate a native pollinator garden, bee lawn, or rain garden into an existing lawn. Do you have a wet spot in your lawn that you're sick of mowing, or a downspout on your house that gushes water into your street or lawn during a rainstorm?

Carlton SWCD is hosting a "Create a Raingarden" workshop 6:30-8 p.m. March 31 at the Cloquet Public Library. The free workshop will guide you from start to finish on designing a rain garden with native plants. The SWCD will also provide a free site visit after the workshop along with up to $500 to help plant a rain garden.

Do your part and plant pollinator habitat. Even the smallest garden helps our bees, birds, and butterflies.

Native plant and seed mix orders are being taken now until Friday, June 3. Curbside pickup is scheduled from noon to 4 p.m. Thursday, June 16 and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, June 17 at the Carlton SWCD, 808 Third St. in Carlton.

Visit http://www.carltonswcd.org for ordering native plant kits and/or to register for the workshop. Call or email Carlton SWCD conservation specialist Alyssa Bloss at 218-384-3891 or [email protected] to register or to relay any questions.