YardScaping… “Healthy” Yards for Families, Pets and Wildlife - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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YardScaping… “Healthy” Yards for Families, Pets and Wildlife
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YardScaping… “Healthy” Yards for Families, Pets and Wildlife

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  1. YardScaping…“Healthy” Yards for Families, Pets and Wildlife Gary Fish, CoordinatorMaine YardScaping Partnership (207) 287-2731gary.fish@maine.gov

  2. The Partnership is very diverse!

  3. YardScaping • A new paradigm? • Some call it “Sustainable Landscaping” or “Ecological Landscaping” • We want to keep it simple Back Cove –Demonstration Site Back Cove –Demonstration Site

  4. YardScaping Mission • To inspire Maine people to • create healthy yards for families, pets and wildlife • by using less fertilizer, pesticides and water

  5. YardScaping core values • Practice low-input yard care • Reduce runoff • Choose the right plant for the right place • Manage pests wisely • Diversify your landscape

  6. Why worry?

  7. National Lakes Assessment 1,028 Lakes Studied in 2007

  8. NLA Findings • 56% of Nation’s Lakes: Good • 44% Fair or Poor

  9. NLA Conclusions • Removal of critical buffer vegetation, including trees and shrubs along shoreline areas contributed to findings • Conclusion: “Poor biological health is three times more likely in lakes with poor shoreline habitat.” • Probably can extend these findings to coastal bays as well

  10. Obviously Degraded Shoreline Habitat

  11. But would you recognize this tranquil scene as a threat to lake health?

  12. Maine yard care fertilizer and pesticide use more common than perceived

  13. An almost 8 fold increase in home pesticide use in 12 years!

  14. Urban water sampling • Friends Of Casco Bay did some detective work in 2001 - 2008 • Sampled runoff water from intensive lawn care areas in Cumberland, S Portland, Westbrook, Falmouth, Yarmouth, Brunswick, Freeport, Portland and Cape Elizabeth & Back Cove area • Sampled sediments for pyrethroid insecticides in Falmouth and Portland in 2008

  15. Friends of Casco Bay sampling • Pesticide residues detected in surface water • Diazinon up to (2.6 ppb)** • 2,4-D up to (36.4 ppb) • Dicamba up to (4.1 ppb) • MCPP up to (26 ppb) • MCPA up to (0.45 ppb) • Clopyralid up to (0.91 ppb) • Propiconazole up to (0.075 ppb) • Chlorothalonil up to (0.22 ppb) • Found Excess Nitrogen & Phosphorous in most samples • Pesticide residues detected in sediments • Bifenthrin up to (16.6 ppb) 100% of samples **Values in red exceed Aquatic Life Criteria

  16. USGS National Water Quality Assessment – 2006 Report • Sampled urban streams • Insecticides occurred more frequently in urban streams than they did in agricultural area streams • Herbicides detected in 99% of Urban stream samples • Phosphorous found at same levels as in agricultural streams • 70% of those samples exceeded the EPA level for causing excessive algal growth

  17. One Third of U.S. Bird Species Endangered, Survey Finds By CORNELIA DEAN Published: March 19, 2009 Habitat destruction, pollution and other problems have left nearly a third of the nation’s 800 bird species endangered, threatened or in serious decline, according to a study issued on Thursday.

  18. These trends are in the wrong direction

  19. Kentucky Warbler - 29%

  20. - 48% Wood Thrush -48%

  21. Golden Winged Warbler -66%

  22. Cerulean Warbler - 84%

  23. Prothonotary Warbler 127 species of neotropical migrant birds are declining

  24. What’s a gardener to do? • Be a YardScaper • Improve the soil • Reduce the need for irrigation • Right Plant…Right Place • Slow the flow • Plant native and avoid invasive plants • Reduce the need for weed and insect control • Apply fertilizers and pesticides properly & sparingly Back Cove –Demonstration Site

  25. Improve the soil • Know your soil - Soil test • Add low nutrient composts • Avoid nutrient banking • Apply compost tea but not to edible parts of plants • Avoid products with animal manures • Aerate lawns • Return lawn clippings • Keep clippings off impervious surfaces

  26. Sweet Fern Red Chokeberry Reduce irrigation needs • Use drought tolerant plants • Fescues instead of Kentucky Blue Grass or Ryegrass • Sweet Fern will colonize the driest and worse soils • Red Chokeberry tolerates very dry soils Tall Fescue

  27. Low Maintenance Lawn Benefits – 2000 CMHC study of 30 residences • Residents with low-maintenance lawns spent • 50 per cent less time, • 85 per cent less money, and • used • 50 per cent less fuel, • 85 per cent less fertilizer, • 100 per cent less water and • 100 per cent less pesticides per year http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/burema/gesein/abhose/abhose_076.cfm

  28. Choose and place plants carefully • Right plant… right place • Hardiness zone • Sun exposure • Soil type

  29. Know your hardiness zone

  30. Match the sun requirements of your plants • Native groundcovers Bunchberry Wintergreen/checkerberry Bearberry Full sun Partial sun/shade Shade

  31. Know the soil type

  32. Reduce irrigation needs • Mulch properly • Organic mulches conserve water • Not too deep (2 – 4inches) • Don’t use impervious weed barriers • No volcano mulching • Shred your leaves and use as mulch under trees and shrubs or as winter cover for bulbs • Mow high • 3 – 4 inches is best • Taller grass has deeper roots • Higher cut reduces weed problems

  33. Reduce irrigation needs • Reduce lawn area • Water properly My own wildflower field

  34. Slow the flow • Capture runoff • Rain barrel • Rain Gardens • Pervious walks & driveways • Resist the neatnik inside you

  35. Slow the flow • Curves are good • Reduce lawn area • Create buffers

  36. Protect waters with buffers • Preserve existing landscape • Winding paths • Don’t mow to the water’s edge • Leave the duff

  37. Reduce runoff • Reduce amount of pervious (hard) surfaces • Create rain gardens or install rain barrels • Direct water into vegetated areas Porous pavement

  38. Common Ninebark – dry sunny site Reduce the need for weed and insect control • Plant resistant varieties • Right plant right place Bunchberry – shady and moist site

  39. Reduce the need for weed and insect control • Mow high and sharp • Sharp blades reduce disease & stress • Feed the need • Healthy plants resist problems • Spoon feeding is best • Seed, seed, seed • Seeds and plants are the best weed control

  40. Reduce the need for weed and insect control • Keep air circulating • Prune plants properly • Encourage beneficials • Provide continuous blooms • Apply beneficials • Encourage birds

  41. Habitat enhancement for beneficials Many beneficials, as adults, larvae, or both, require pollen and/or nectar as dietary supplements Key is to provide a series of plants that, collectively, provide continuous nectar/pollen supplyMany of the same plants that provide food and habitat for natural enemies also provide resources for pollinators

  42. A new way of thinking about your landscape

  43. All plants do notsupport wildlife equally

  44. AlienAutumn Olive NativeBlack Cherry 456 insect species 9 insect species

  45. On average natives support 12x more lepidopteran species 70 N=69 for aliens & N=101 for natives 6 Aliens Natives Woody Ornamentals

  46. Viburnum Leaf Beetle Avoid invasive plants • Some can ruin lakes • Others change wetlands • Native plants are not a panacea • Some may be very susceptible to alien insects

  47. Be careful when controlling invasive plants • Control can degrade water quality • Erosion causes siltation • Must replace with new plants • Nature always fills open spots Garlic mustard

  48. Apply fertilizers properly & sparingly • Test the soil • Use slow release nitrogen with No Phos • Spoon feed • Apply ½ rate • Apply once or twice only • No weed & feed