Tips For a Healthy Yard
Below are tips I have collected and use for my home and buildings to create a healthy, safe, and natural environment.
- Go Natural: Use compost to augment your soil and fertilize your plants. There are many types of compost available and some cities or counties offer their own products. If you must, use slow release organic fertilizer in late September and/or early May.
- Plant a Tree: Increase the number of trees to help intercept rainwater. Check with your City Arborist or Parks Dept. about tree give aways during their dormant season. It will save some money and help beautify your yard.
- Let the Rain Soak In: Slow storm water runoff by directing downspout into lawns, beds or rain gardens. For drier climates use a rain catchment system to reduce runoff and save your plants.
- Build Healthy Soil: Supplement your soil with mulch, compost and other all-natural soil amendments. Healthy soils lead to robust plants that are more resistant to disease and insect problems, which means you’ll not need harmful herbicides and pesticides.
- Clean Up Troublemakers: Remove diseased plants and compost the dead ones.
- Refuse Chemical Sprays: Try traps, barriers, fabric row covers and repellants instead of harmful pesticides.
- Plant Right for Your Site: Select pest-resistant plants and put them in soil mixture and sun conditions they like. Consult a garden expert for advice on the right plant for your conditions.
- Water Smart: Water deeply and infrequently. Most plants do best if the soil partially dries out between watering. One inch a week is the rule of thumb.
- Test Automatic Sprinklers: Test, repair and adjust your sprinklers annually, and install a rain shut-off device.
- Get the Neighborhood Involved: Instead of spending money on harmful pesticides see if a local teenager needs a summer job weeding or mowing lawns, with parental permission of course.