b'together slightly before breaking up, you have sandy loam.If it Better to choose plantstays together, you have clay or a clay blend.Better yet, have soil varieties that thrive in our climate zone.samples tested for type, pH (acidity), nutrient availability and min-eral content.Check the Resources Chapter for information and kits for soil testing.Choosing the right plant for the right place is an important con-sideration for all landscaping.Careful planning and site evaluation are the fi rst steps in applying this concept.The Cape Cod Coopera-tive Extension has a pamphlet addressing this important principle entitled Right Plant, Right Placea Plant Selection Guide for Managed Landscapes which provides lists of diff erent types of trees and shrubs suitable for the varied conditions found on Cape Cod (capecodextension.org/home).How to Choose?. Go Native! Matching the need of your plants to the conditions of your landscape decreases the need for extra water and fertilizer and increases your plants resistance to disease and pests.Plants native to the Cape are well adapted to our climate, soil, and water supply; they are less bothered by salt, disease, and pests than plants introduced from other areas.Native trees, shrubs, ground-covers, and grasses provide shelter, nesting areas and food for a variety of wild critters, including hummingbirds and butterfl ies. Visit Chatham Conservation Commission or Chatham Garden Club to obtain lists of native plants suitable for planting in our area.Other sources of information include the Heritage Plantation Museum and Gardens in Sandwich, Cape Cod Museum of Natural History, National Seashore Visitor Center, Mass. Audubons Wellfl eet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, and the Barnstable County Cape Cod Cooperative Extension office; all these locations provide excellent publications.Local nurseries will help you select plants appropriate to your yard and soil type.Plants to AvoidCertain plants are consid-ered harmful exotic invasives because they are aggressive competitors with a speedy growth habit, spread quickly either by seed or root, and have the ability to naturalize in wild areas and choke out indigenous plants.Commonly seen in Chatham are Autumn Olive, Purple Loose-strife, Porcelain Berry, Phragmites, Asiatic Bittersweet, Japanese Knotweed, Privet, Japanese Honeysuckle, English Ivy, Tree of Heaven, Multifl ora Rose, Bamboo, Burning Bush, Scotch Broom, and Japanese Barberry. Foreign invasive species reduce the number of native species, change the physical structure of a habitat, disrupt the food web, and delay the long-term process of succession.An example commonly seen at the edge of marshes is Phragmites or Common Reed.It is a particular enemy of salt marshesbecause it spreads aggressively by above ground runners, its root system, as well as by seed, it chokes out diversity and causes the decline of many salt marsh species, habitat for many shellfi sh and fi nfi sh. For a more complete list of invasive species, contact the conservation office or see www.ipane.org.Do not use these plants in your landscaping and before removing any vegetation within 100 feet of wetland resources, be sure to contact the Conservation Commission fi rst.There are aquatic invasive plant species that can impact waterways.These species include Eurasian Water Milfoil, Hydrilla and Yellow Water Iris.Eurasian Milfoil clogs waterways and is found in freshwater bodies.It can reduce oxygen and cause fi sh kills.Hydrilla is considered one of the top problem water weeds because it degrades the water quality, reduces oxygen and fouls waterways.To avoid spreading these invasives into waterways boaters should check to be sure that boating gear is free of plant debris.Never empty aquariums into waterways and use native aquatic plants in your watergarden. For more information: www.mass.gov/czm/invasives/index.htm Page 44 bluepages.indd 44 8/26/2009 1:52:18 PM'