What to do with oak leaves and other spring gardening tips

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Spring is officially here, which means it is time spruce up your garden.

When heading to the shop to pick out flowers, it is important to keep in mind which plants do best in your yard.

Anita Camacho runs the Little Red Wagon Native Nursery in Tampa. She suggests planting only native plants to Florida. It’s not only better for the environment, but easier to maintain.

“Florida has a unique ecosystem. It is a tough place, especially the sandy soil. Native plants are pretty hard and tough and do well in our state,” Anita said.

A native plant is one that evolved here over thousands of years and because of that, it is used to surviving in our harsh environment. There is no need for extra chemicals or fertilizers.

When perusing the garden section, be mindful of how much sun your yard receives throughout the day as well. Anita said “right plant, right place. It all depends on where the rays are hitting.”

Different native plants require varying amounts of sunshine. Too much or too little could hinder or prevent growth altogether.

As for all the oak leaves in your yard? Anita said the best thing to do is leave them there.

“Oak leaves are a really important part of our ecosystem. There are a lot of things that live in oak leaf litter,” she said.

Wild bees as well as caterpillars make their homes in the leaves on the ground and it is best to not disturb the natural cycle.

As the leaves decay, they also act like a natural fertilizer. So as pesky as they seem, it truly is beneficial to leave them be.

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