Best Practices for Yard Maintenance

Posted on Monday July 09, 2007 at 05:15PM

Have you found any environmentally friendly products for yard maintenance, or have any tips for other home owners?

Author: Summer Village of Itaska Beach


Lawn Tips


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<p class=MsoNormal><span lang=EN-CA>The Summer Village of Itaska Beach is
committed to working toward a healthier environment.<span
style='mso-spacerun:yes'>  </span>We encourage residents to practice these
simple steps to reduce the need for pesticides in lawn care.<span
style='mso-spacerun:yes'>  </span>You’ll reduce pesticide use – which means
fewer chemicals in our storm water system (which flows into the lake!) and a
healthier environment for your family and pets.<span style='mso-spacerun:yes'> 
</span>Pesticides include herbicides for weed control, insecticides for insect
control and fungicides that control certain plant disease.</span></p>

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<p class=MsoNormal><b><span lang=EN-CA>10 tips for a healthy lawn:</span></b></p>

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style='mso-list:Ignore'>1<span style='font:7.0pt "Times New Roman"'>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;
</span></span></span><![endif]><b><span lang=EN-CA>Begin with healthy soil</span></b><span
lang=EN-CA>.<span style='mso-spacerun:yes'>  </span>A good lawn starts from the
ground up.<span style='mso-spacerun:yes'>  </span>Proper soil preparation will
minimize future weed problems.<span style='mso-spacerun:yes'>  </span>Adding
compost will improve the water-holding capacity of sandy soils and open up air
space in compacted clay soils.<span style='mso-spacerun:yes'>  </span>Nutrients
and essential microorganisms in compost help get the growing process off to a
good start.</span></p>

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style='mso-list:Ignore'>2<span style='font:7.0pt "Times New Roman"'>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;
</span></span></span><![endif]><b><span lang=EN-CA>Remove thatch</span></b><span
lang=EN-CA>.<span style='mso-spacerun:yes'>  </span>In the spring, remove
excess thatch with a heavy rake or de-thatching equipment.<span
style='mso-spacerun:yes'>  </span>This helps to open your lawn to water, air and
nutrients.</span></p>

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</span></span></span><![endif]><span lang=EN-CA>Mow high.<span
style='mso-spacerun:yes'>  </span>Mow your lawn 6 – 8 cm (2 ½ - 3 inches) to
encourage better root growth and moisture retention. Keep your blade
sharp!<span style='mso-spacerun:yes'>  </span>Your lawn will recover quicker if
the grass is cleanly cut.</span></p>

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</span></span></span><![endif]><b><span lang=EN-CA>Mulch your grass</span></b><span
lang=EN-CA>.<span style='mso-spacerun:yes'>  </span>Use a mulching mower and
leave your grass clippings on your lawn.<span style='mso-spacerun:yes'> 
</span>This provides a great source of slow-release nitrogen for your lawn. You
may need to mow more often, but the time and energy saved by not bagging the
grass plus the decrease in grass going to the landfill is a win-win.</span></p>

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</span></span></span><![endif]><b><span lang=EN-CA>Water the roots</span></b><span
lang=EN-CA>.<span style='mso-spacerun:yes'>  </span>Proper irrigation gets to
the root of the matter!<span style='mso-spacerun:yes'>  </span>Water only when
your lawn is showing signs of wilting.<span style='mso-spacerun:yes'> 
</span>Early morning or early evening is the best times to water, minimizing
evaporation.<span style='mso-spacerun:yes'>  </span>Too much water starves your
lawn of oxygen and invites disease.</span></p>

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</span></span></span><![endif]><b><span lang=EN-CA>Develop a tolerance</span></b><span
lang=EN-CA>.<span style='mso-spacerun:yes'>  </span>A few weeds of insects
won’t harm your healthy lawn.<span style='mso-spacerun:yes'>  </span>Before
pulling out the pesticides, try improving your lawn and doing some occasional
hand weeding.</span></p>

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tab-stops:list 54.0pt'><![if !supportLists]><span lang=EN-CA><span
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</span></span></span><![endif]><b><span lang=EN-CA>Let your lawn breathe</span></b><span
lang=EN-CA>.<span style='mso-spacerun:yes'>  </span>It’s a root awakening!<span
style='mso-spacerun:yes'>  </span>Aerating your hard, compact soil helps get
water, nutrients and oxygen to the roots.<span style='mso-spacerun:yes'> 
</span>Aeration is best done in the early fall before over seeding and top
dressing.</span></p>

<p class=MsoNormal style='margin-left:54.0pt;text-indent:-36.0pt;mso-list:l0 level1 lfo1;
tab-stops:list 54.0pt'><![if !supportLists]><span lang=EN-CA><span
style='mso-list:Ignore'>8<span style='font:7.0pt "Times New Roman"'>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;
</span></span></span><![endif]><b><span lang=EN-CA>Top dress and fertilize</span></b><span
lang=EN-CA>.<span style='mso-spacerun:yes'>  </span>In early fall top-dress
your lawn with a <span class=SpellE>thing</span> layer of compost or
topsoil.<span style='mso-spacerun:yes'>  </span>You can also add grass seed to
your lawn now.<span style='mso-spacerun:yes'>  </span>Using compost or
slow-release fertilizers will help promote vigorous lawn growth next spring.</span></p>

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</span></span></span><![endif]><b><span lang=EN-CA>Crowd out weeds</span></b><span
lang=EN-CA>.<span style='mso-spacerun:yes'>  </span>Healthy lawns are less
susceptible to weed problems.<span style='mso-spacerun:yes'>  </span>Over
seeding your lawn every fall keeps your grass thick and chokes out weeds.</span></p>

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</span></span></span><![endif]><b><span lang=EN-CA>Low maintenance plants</span></b><span
lang=EN-CA>.<span style='mso-spacerun:yes'>  </span><span class=SpellE>Tress</span>,
shrubs, perennials, ground covers and wild flowers promote biodiversity in your
yard.<span style='mso-spacerun:yes'>  </span>Consider other plants for ground
covers in shaded or dry areas.<span style='mso-spacerun:yes'> 
</span>Periwinkle and lily of the valley have it made in the shade, while
creeping juniper and thyme leaves have fun in the sun!</span></p>

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Posted on Monday July 09, 2007 at 05:21PM by June Boyda, CAO

Watering Lawn

To water your lawn, use water from the lake.

Posted on Monday July 09, 2007 at 05:24PM by June Boyda, CAO

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