How to Plant Alfalfa in Your Backyard

How to Plant Alfalfa in Your Backyard

The most fragrant native plants are just heavenly. Here’s what to plant now to have a head start on a blooming season.

Spring is finally here, bringing with it the first new blossoms of the season.

Whether you’re celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day, or if you’re a beginner gardener (or you just happen to be a plant lover), you can start enjoying the beauty of spring’s colorful garden in your own backyard by planting a few of these fragrant native plants.

Alfalfa (Medicago sativa)

If you can have only one flower, this is it. Alfalfa is an annual and prolific at blooming. The plants can grow as wide as five feet, but can be trimmed to about two feet (or less, if you like long, arching blooms) when grown in a container. Alfalfa is particularly useful for erosion control, as it can regrow from the roots of neighboring plants. If that’s not the only reason you plant them, then you may want to start a small plot of alfalfa for landscaping on your property.

Apiaceae (Nasturtiums)

Even those who dislike these hardy annuals will probably find that the annual nasturtium (sweet pea) or the perennial sweet pea or pea (Nasturtium officinale) is a nice addition to your garden and to your menu. This family has many uses, including a lovely edible herb, the sweet pea flower (which can be processed to make a sweet fruit), nasturtium oil, toothpastes, salad dressings and, of course, your garden.

Annuals in the Apiaceae (Nasturtiums)family can be quite ornamental, if they’re used properly. Many can be trained to grow as large as 6 inches tall, but will still have to be trimmed to about 2 inches.

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