Kelly Feehan - Extension Educator
Plant roots grow in soil pore spaces. Pore spaces are also where oxygen is found. Just as plant roots cannot grow without water, they cannot grow without oxygen. Soil pore space is important to plant growth and efficient water use.
Soils with good structure have adequate pore space making them well drained while still having good water and nutrient holding capacity. Ideal soils have 50 percent soil particles and 50 percent pore space. An important aspect of good soil structure is soil aggregation.
When it rains in July and August, we are almost always thankful for the moisture. And yet this valuable resource is often directed off of properties and out of town as quickly as possible via downspouts and storm drains.
Stormwater runoff is rainwater that does not soak into the ground. It flows from rooftops, streets, parking lots, sidewalks, driveways, bare soil, sloped lawns, and other areas.
The lawn fertilization season is just around the corner. For a healthy turf and to help protect water resources, following the traditional four step program may not be the best route to go.
A well-managed turf holds soil in place and acts as a filter for potential water pollutants. However, fertilizing more than is needed, at the wrong time of the season, or misapplying fertilizer can result in nutrient runoff with the potential to degrade water resources.
Rain gardens have been a landscape feature for a while now. This has helped us determine which plants are proving to do well in the bottom of rain gardens.
Rain gardens are shallow depressions located where they collect rainwater from a slope or downspout. Their purpose is to make the most of rainfall when received by soaking it in and reducing the amount of runoff during rain storms.
During winter, dry landscape plants that are not covered by snow or moistened by winter moisture could pose a potential fire hazard. This is especially true following dry summers and falls.
The dry tops of ornamental grasses left over winter. Dead conifers killed by insects or diseases. Dry tree leaves accumulating in yard corners and more. These could all become tinder and fuel for a carelessly discarded cigarette or possibly an electrical short.