Thanksgiving, it is the time of year when many people take time to reflect on the things that we are thankful for. I am very thankful for the amazing landscapes and habitats our planet has to offer. Whenever I go hiking in our parks, visit beaches, see a beautiful sunset, gaze at the stars, observe wildlife, I am truly humbled and amazed by the scale, beauty and awesomeness of it all. I am truly grateful that I can observe these wonders of nature, share these adventures with friends and family and pass on my knowlege about them. It saddens me, however, that these places are disappearing at a such rapid pace. Humans are such a small part of this planet and yet we have one of the greatest impacts on it.
I know that the task seems very daunting, but there are things that we can do to impact the environment in very positive ways. If many people do little things they will add up to have big impacts on our environment. This starts in our own backyards. Be thankful for your yard and treat it well. Even in the fall there are things you can do to improve and keep your lawn healthy.
Fall Tips for a Healthy Lawn:
- Test your soil every 3 years in the late fall (or spring) to determine what nutrients need to be added to the soil. This can save time, money and prevent the over application of nutrients. Remember, over fertilization in your yard can lead to an overgrowth of algae somewhere else, such as stormwater ponds, streams and Lake Erie.
- Feed your lawn! This is the best time to amend your soil according your soil test results.
- Continue to mulch the leaves. Cut the leaves smaller by mowing more than once or add the leaves to your compost pile. Mulching provides many of the nutrients that your lawn needs to get through the winter and come back healthier in the spring.
- Leave the leaves alone. Fallen leaves provide protection, insulation, and valuable nutrients for your plant beds and lawns. They also provide valuable habitat for many types of wildlife, such as insects, salamanders and butterfly and moth larvae.
- Leave your grass clippings for the lawn. Grass clippings left on your lawn do not cause thatch. The clippings provide a rich source of nitrogen for your lawn and are 80-90% water so they breakdown quickly.
For more tips for creating a healthy habitat visit the Resource page on our website. Remember, everything is connected and everything we do has an impact on something.
Now it's your turn. What are you thankful for?
Blog Author: Kelly Parker, Urban Conservationist