Beware of the garden invaders! 4 tips to plant responsibly

(Jackson, Wyo.) - The sun has been shining and the grass is turning green -- this means that spring is in full swing here in Jackson Hole. As you prep your gardens for the beautiful summer ahead, make sure that you plant responsibly. Teton County Weed and Pest has just launched a program called Buy Clean, Plant Clean, with the goal of educating people on what plants may be harmful on the local ecosystem. "Invasive species, since they grow earlier in the season and are big and blooming before the native species have time to get started, take up the water, sunlight and nutrients from the native plants and push them out of the ecosystem," said Amy Collett, marketing and education program coordinator for Teton County Weed and Pest. Collett says that common invasive species (or noxious weeds) in Teton County include Oxeye Daisy and Toadflax. Here are 4 tips to remember when planting this spring: *1. Know the Wyoming Invasive Species* "I think the most important thing is to go to the Wyoming Weed and Pest Council website or our Teton County Weed and Pest website to check the list of invasive species before you buy something," said Collett. She says to be especially careful when purchasing seeds online. The full list of local invasive species is available here: *2. Clean Your Equipment* Before working on your garden or having others do work in your yard, make sure the equipment is clean. Mud on equipment can contain seeds of invasive species if you were in an area that was infested previously. "It is always a good practice to clean your equipment before using it on another site. That greatly reduces the spread of invasive species," said Collett. *3. Shop Local* Shopping for plants and seeds locally can help reduce the spread of invasive species. "The Department of Agriculture does check locally and we work really closely with nurseries in Teton County to make sure they are not accidentally selling something, but they are really good at checking the list," Collett said. *4. Watch for Red Flag Words* When ordering seeds online, watch for red flag words like 'spreads rapidly' or 'spreads quickly,' because those plants are likely to be invasive species that could damage the ecosystem. Teton County Weed and Pest offers classes and information on how to plant responsibly. More information is at *Feature Photo: Geranium and Mule Ear native species. h/t Teton County Weed and Pest / Pitchengine Communities* #buckrail #news