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Summer time tips for transitioning to natural garden care

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Because of the Pest Administration Coverage handed in 2011, all those that use Scarborough parks, playgrounds and sports activities fields have tremendously decreased publicity to pesticides (see 2019 PMAC Report on the Conservation Fee web page of the City of Scarborough web site to be taught extra). Households, pets, wildlife and waterways will all profit as increasingly owners study natural garden care, and just like the City, select to not use weed and bug killers. Right here are some things you are able to do this summer season to start a transition to a wholesome natural garden that’s secure for folks, pets and pollinators.

• Mow Higher — Mow excessive by setting mower blades between 3 and 4 inches. Taller grass develops stronger roots and shades out weeds. Be certain that mower blades are sharp to make sure a clear lower. Boring blades tear grass, making it extra prone to illness. Minimize solely the highest 1/3 of grass blades and depart the clippings, which is free, pure fertilizer in your garden. Mow within the early night, after the warmth of the day and range the mowing sample each time you mow to forestall soil compaction.

• Water Correctly — Lawns want between 1 and 1.5 inches of water per week throughout the Could to October rising season. Water deeply a few times per week, relying on rainfall. Use a rain gauge to measure the quantity of water from rainfall. Water between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. to permit the water to soak into the bottom earlier than it could evaporate throughout the warmth of the day and keep away from watering at night time to forestall fungal illness.

• Over-seed — Generously unfold a mixture of endophyte-enhanced fescues and perennial ryegrass seeds (search for a shady grass seed combine) all season lengthy to scale back weeds and pests and make sure you add seed in skinny or naked spots earlier than weeds start to develop.

• Grubs — In northern New England, one of the simplest ways to deal with grubs naturally is by utilizing helpful nematodes (microscopic critters that stay within the soil). They’re accessible via North Nation Organics (www.norganics.com). For nematodes to work, fastidiously observe bundle directions when utilizing these residing creatures. Nematodes are finest utilized in late July/early August when grubs are small and close to the floor of the soil.

• Garden Options — Establish shady or moist areas not fitted to rising grass. Contemplate replanting these areas with native floor covers, moisture-loving shrubs or shade perennials. Native vegetation are finest suited to Maine’s local weather, rising season and soils. And since they’ve pure defenses in opposition to bugs and illness, they require little or no, if any, fertilizer or bug killers. Additionally they entice helpful pollinators like bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. To be taught extra, go to the Cumberland County Soil & Water Conservation District web site>Providers & Applications menu>Paperwork and click on YardScape after which on Native Vegetation. Try useful info on the Wild Seed Undertaking web site, College of Maine Cooperative Extension and Audubon Native Plant.

Data for this text was drawn from the next sources: Cumberland County Soil & Water District (www.cumberlandswcd.org/yardscape), Associates of Casco Bay (www.cascobay.org/bayscaping), College of Maine Cooperative Extension (www.extension.umaine.edu/gardening/handbook/lawns), Maine Natural Farmers and Gardeners Affiliation. (www.mofga.org/Publications/Truth-Sheets) and Northeast Natural Farmers Affiliation (www.organiclandcare.web). Go to their web sites for extra detailed info.

The first accountability of the Scarborough Conservation Fee is to extend consciousness of the worth of our pure sources, work to determine and scale back potential harm to those pure areas and to proactively work with City Workers, different committees, and native organizations to encourage sustainable stewardship of those sources.

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