National Planting Day - 10 Tips to Create More Beauty

Held annually the first Saturday after Labor Day, National Planting Day kicks off the fall planting season for Keep America Beautiful’s network of more than 600 Affiliates and other community partners with events taking place through October.

Making your community greener can increase its value, make it more attractive, and even improve your health. Plan to plant native species at home or in your community. Tell your friends and family about the importance of native species – and get them involved, too!

Whether you’re just starting or are well on your way, here are a few tips and resources to help you beautify your home or your community.

  1. Participate in Keep America Beautiful’s National Planting Day, which takes place annually on the first Saturday after Labor Day. National Planting Day was created to celebrate the value and power of native species in restoring ecological balance to the environment.
  2. National Planting Day continues to promote pollinator health. Keep America Beautiful is a proud participant in the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge, so make sure your pollinator garden will "BEE Counted."
  3. Natives are critical to attracting specialized pollinators and insects, which in turn provide food for birds and ultimately many more animals up the food chain. Plus they’re hardy, low maintenance and require less water than other ornamentals. Visit the Pollinator Partnership website for eco-regional planting guides tailored to specific areas of the U.S.
  4. Start small. Plant a container garden or a balcony garden if you’re in an urban area or a personal garden if you have a little more room in your backyard. This easy “Start A Garden” app is a helpful tool to begin.
  5. If you’re just getting started, enlist an expert from a local nursery or garden center to learn how to “plant right” by putting the right plant in the right place at the right time. Want your garden questions answered? You can also get answers from a Cooperative Extension expert online.
  6. Create a list of plants appropriate for your hardiness zone and the growing conditions you’ve determined exist for your site. The USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map will help you determine if the plants you’ve selected will thrive.
  7. What about the quality of your soil? A simple test can determine the quality of the soil on the site. Once the soil is tested, you’ll be able to take the necessary steps to amend it.
  8. Coffee grounds are an easy-to-use source of compost material. Mixing it into your garden soil has a variety of benefits, including balancing the alkalinity of your soil; deterring pests such as slugs and snails; and feeding earthworms. Earthworms love coffee grounds! Who knew? Check out the benefits of using coffee grounds in your compost pile from the Oregon State University Extension System.
  9. Native plants require little supplemental watering and seasonal care as they are adapted to local environmental conditions.
  10. Capture the beauty of your native gardens! Post photos of you and your friends planting this fall. Tag the photos with #PlantBeautifulThings on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Learn more about projects implemented by Keep America Beautiful Affiliates nationwide here.

Find a local Keep America Beautiful Affiliate here.