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YardScaping… “Healthy” Yards for Families, Pets and Wildlife. Gary Fish, Coordinator Maine YardScaping Partnership (207) 287-2731 gary.fish@maine.gov. The Partnership is very diverse!. YardScaping. A new paradigm? Some call it “Sustainable Landscaping” or “Ecological Landscaping”

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yardscaping healthy yards for families pets and wildlife

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

Gary Fish, CoordinatorMaine YardScaping Partnership (207) 287-2731gary.fish@maine.gov

yardscaping
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

yardscaping mission
YardScaping Mission
  • To inspire Maine people to
    • create healthy yards for families, pets and wildlife
    • by using less fertilizer, pesticides and water
yardscaping core values
YardScaping core values
  • Practice low-input yard care
  • Reduce runoff
  • Choose the right plant for the right place
  • Manage pests wisely
  • Diversify your landscape
national lakes assessment

National Lakes Assessment

1,028 Lakes Studied in 2007

nla findings
NLA Findings
  • 56% of Nation’s Lakes: Good
  • 44% Fair or Poor
nla conclusions
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
urban water sampling
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
friends of casco bay sampling
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

usgs national water quality assessment 2006 report
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
one third of u s bird species endangered survey finds

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.

slide20

- 48%

Wood Thrush

-48%

slide23

Prothonotary Warbler

127 species of neotropical migrant birds are declining

what s a gardener to do
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

improve the soil
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
reduce irrigation needs

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

low maintenance lawn benefits 2000 cmhc study of 30 residences
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

choose and place plants carefully
Choose and place plants carefully
  • Right plant… right place
    • Hardiness zone
    • Sun exposure
    • Soil type
match the sun requirements of your plants
Match the sun requirements of your plants
  • Native groundcovers

Bunchberry

Wintergreen/checkerberry

Bearberry

Full sun

Partial sun/shade

Shade

reduce irrigation needs32
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
reduce irrigation needs33
Reduce irrigation needs
  • Reduce lawn area
  • Water properly

My own wildflower field

slow the flow
Slow the flow
  • Capture runoff
    • Rain barrel
    • Rain Gardens
    • Pervious walks & driveways
  • Resist the neatnik inside you
slow the flow35
Slow the flow
  • Curves are good
  • Reduce lawn area
  • Create buffers
protect waters with buffers
Protect waters with buffers
  • Preserve existing landscape
  • Winding paths
  • Don’t mow to the water’s edge
  • Leave the duff
reduce runoff
Reduce runoff
  • Reduce amount of pervious (hard) surfaces
  • Create rain gardens or install rain barrels
  • Direct water into vegetated areas

Porous pavement

reduce the need for weed and insect control

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

reduce the need for weed and insect control39
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
reduce the need for weed and insect control40
Reduce the need for weed and insect control
  • Keep air circulating
    • Prune plants properly
  • Encourage beneficials
    • Provide continuous blooms
    • Apply beneficials
  • Encourage birds
habitat enhancement for beneficials
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

slide45

AlienAutumn Olive

NativeBlack Cherry

456 insect species

9 insect species

on average natives support 12x more lepidopteran species
On average natives support 12x more lepidopteran species

70

N=69 for aliens

&

N=101 for natives

6

Aliens

Natives

Woody Ornamentals

avoid invasive plants

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
be careful when controlling invasive plants
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

apply fertilizers properly sparingly
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
select slow release fertilizers
Select slow release fertilizers
  • GUARANTEED ANALYSIS
  • Total Nitrogen (N)...…..................….8.00%      1.0 % Water Soluble Nitrogen      7.5 % Water Insoluble NitrogenAvailable Phosphate (P205)..........….1.0 %Soluble Potash (K20)....................…1.0 % Derived from corn gluten, steamed bone meal & sulfate of potash
  • NON PLANT FOOD INGREDIENTS Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus licheniformis, Bacillus pumulis, Bacillus megaterium, Paenibacillus polymyxa, Paenibacillus durum each @ 275,000 CFU per gram of finished product

Look for Water Insoluble Nitrogen (WIN)

apply pesticides properly sparingly
Apply pesticides properly & sparingly
  • Practice IPM
    • ID pests
    • Think first… Spray last
  • Choose least toxic and effective products
  • Apply properly
    • Keep off hard surfaces
    • Measure areas
    • Calibrate equipment
proper application
Proper application
  • Base applications on soil test results
  • Never apply when there is standing water
  • Never apply to saturated soils
  • Never apply to frozen ground
proper application54
Proper application
  • Never apply until soil warms to 50 - 55°F at 3” soil depth
  • Never apply between December 1 and April 1
  • Do not apply pesticides if rain or irrigation is imminent, unless specified by label
  • Do not apply if moderate or heavy rain is imminent regardless of label statements
  • Never apply to impervious surfaces
proper application55
Proper application
  • Never apply near areas prone to runoff, i.e., culverts, drains, drainageways or wells
  • Never apply to bare ground unless establishing seed
  • Cover seed to prevent erosion
  • Clean up spills immediately
  • Lightly water-in fertilizers
  • When the label directs, assure that pesticides are watered in as directed
25 foot buffer zone required next to waters and wetlands
25-foot buffer zone required next to waters and wetlands
  • Applies to all terrestrial “Broadcast” pesticide applications
    • Except stinging insect and arthropod vector control, and
    • Man-made Ag wetlands, e.g., Cranberry bog areas
  • Variances may be granted if the Board approves and protections are reasonably equivalent
where to learn more
Where to learn more

http://www.yardscaping.org

where to learn more58
Where to learn more

http://www.gotpests.org/

where to learn more59
Where to learn more

http://www.cumberlandswcd.org/yardscape/index.htm

back cove demonstration area
Back Cove demonstration area
  • It is a 2 acre +/- site that will be developed over two years
  • We have 4 “yards” featuring different types of landscapes
    • Rural – Field & wildflowers with native trees and wildlife habitat enhancements
    • Suburban/Rural – No-mow grass with native trees & shrubs
    • Urban/Suburban – Very low input lawn grasses that are mowed with very low input native and non-invasive alien trees & shrubs
    • Urban – YardScaping lawn mix with low input native and non-invasive alien trees & shrubs
rural meadow area
Rural/Meadow Area
  • Few trees & shrubs
  • Meadow areas
  • Rough paths
  • Bird boxes
  • Wildlife shelters
  • Bush hog 1x/year
suburban rural
Suburban/Rural
  • No-mow lawn
  • Maintenance free native trees and shrubs
  • Mulched paths
  • Mown 2x/year
urban suburban
Urban/Suburban
  • Very low input grasses
  • Very low input native and non-invasive alien trees & shrubs
  • Stone dust paths
  • More benches
  • Grass mown at 3 inches
urban
Urban
  • YardScaping grass mix
  • Low input native and non-invasive alien trees & shrubs
  • Crushed stone paths