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How to turn your yard into a native plant paradise

Talk of Iowa, hosted by Charity Nebbe

Some Iowans have decided to ditch the turf lawns and transition their yards and gardens to feature more natural wildlife.

There are a lot of compelling reasons to cultivate native plants in your landscape. They’re perfectly suited to the Iowa climate. They support pollinators and insects. They create habitat and food resources for wildlife and they’re beautiful. On this episode of Talk of Iowa, Iowans across the state talk about how they have diversified their yards with native plants and offer advice for beginners.

This episode was originally produced August 1, 2023.


  • Grant Nordby, gardener based in Cedar Rapids
  • Rebecca Kauten, scientist in residence, Iowa Lakeside Laboratory
  • Katie James & Andy James, Backyard Conservationists
  • Kaytlan Moeller, Mowing to Monarchs, Dubuque County Conservation Board
Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa
Caitlin Troutman is a talk show producer at Iowa Public Radio