By Erica Etelson
Decide what plants you want and where they'll go and add them to your map. Make sure to opt for low-maintenance varieties. Plants that are native to your area are ideal because they've been adapting to local climate and soil conditions (and outcompeting weeds) for centuries. Even better, a mix of native grasses, flowers, shrubs, and trees attracts beneficial insects and birds to your yard, which then feast on common pests. The result? You won't need to rely on insecticides. For help in choosing the right plants, go to wildflower.org/collections or consult an agricultural extension office.