Water in the Landscape

I found a great Blog today and wanted to share an article she posted.

Please Recycle 3

Gardener Susan’s Blog

Ya’ll probably know by now what a radical environmentalist I am by now!  I feel it is morally wrong to continue to grow lawns of grass that eat up our resources, waste our water especially and pollute our rivers with run-offs that place chemicals in our water sources…

But let’s get on-topic, shall we?  Probably THE most important environmental responsibility we have as landowners and gardeners have to do with water – conserving it as a resource, and making sure the rainwater landing on our property percolates down and is cleaned before it ends up in our waters.   So there’s lots to cover, including topics like how to water efficiently and principles of xeriscaping, which are covered here so I won’t repeat them.  I’ll just recommend two interesting links about water in our gardens:

  • I like the “Wise Lawn Care Prevents Water Pollution” hand-out distributed by the city of Alexandria, VA.   Most people believe that avoiding pesticides is all they need to do to protect waterways, so information like this that emphasizes wise fertilization practices is essential.  This brochure tells us to “Fertilize in the fall if at all!”
  • A measure is being considered in New Jersey that would severely restrict the polluting nutrients nitrogen and phosphates in lawn fertilizers, and I recommend Tom Christopher’s account on Huffington Post.   He notes that Scotts MiracleGro and TruGreen are fighting the measure, as are some who fear their properties values will decline if their lawns are less green.  But Tom suggests that the solution to make everyone happy (except the aforementioned behemoths of the lawn industry) is to switch to the less resource-intensive fine fescue mixes that are being tested by Rutgers (see Now-Mow Lawn and Eco-Lawn.)  Tom’s also a member of the Lawn Reform Coalition.


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