Kelly Feehan - Extension Educator
As we move into winter, store lawn and garden pesticides correctly and securely. Read and follow the label for safety and to help prevent accidental poisoning or spills that could contaminate storage areas or water resources.
Freezing temperatures are ending the growing season and its time to do yard and garden cleanup to help reduce overwintering diseases and insects; and to reduce the amount of plant debris washed into streams, lakes, and ponds where they contribute to water pollution.
Water conservation is important in home and business landscapes. While leaving automatic irrigation systems turned off, and only turning them on when plants need water, is a much needed practice change in many residential and business landscapes, selecting drought tolerant plants is also important.
This article focuses on drought tolerant shrubs for different functions. While listed as drought tolerant, keep in mind plants need established roots to develop tolerance to dry sites. It is often a deep or extensive root system that makes a plant drought tolerant.
Storm drains in some towns have markers that read “No dumping. Drains to waterways”. These markers are part of the public education communities are doing to help protect surface water from urban run-off pollution.
Most residential areas are designed for rainwater to flow into the street and then into a storm drain. From there, it flows almost directly to a stream, river or lake, taking along what it picks up from surfaces it flows across.
As we begin a new year and will soon be thinking about lawns and landscapes, here is a reminder to focus on water. A limited resource we can’t live without. A New Year’s landscape resolution can be to conserve and protect water resources.
Now is a good time to analyze past growing seasons. When the weather was dry, were there plants that needed more frequent irrigation to prevent them from wilting? Could these be replaced with drought tolerant plants?