Hiring a landscaper for 2018? For the sake of our bays and our drinking water, make sure they are being ‘green’ about it. Ask them to use a mulching mower so that the grass clippings (or the leaves in the fall) can feed your lawn. That is the best food your lawn can have. Why have the clippings and leaves dumped in a landfill, only so that you have to throw expensive chemical fertilizers on it?
A greener Long Island and healthier waters begin right in your yard. Here is an overview of the I Love Long Island Campaign:
Excess nitrogen is imperiling all our bays, rivers, and ponds by triggering massive algae blooms. Much of this nitrogen is leaching from the 500,000 cesspools and septic tanks on Long Island. Right now, the county and the state are seeking the funds necessary to address this problem and are rolling out what new waste water infrastructure they can. In the meantime, if you love Long Island, whether as a boater, fisherman, paddleboarder, surfer, or as one who treasures its unique beauty and wants to preserve it, please understand that what you put on your lawn either goes down into our drinking water, or out to all the water that surrounds us. The brown tide, rust tide, mahogany tide, red tide, blue-green algae, and the anoxic ‘dead zones’ are the result.
If you have pets or children, love nature and respect your neighbors, avoid pesticides. If you kill the bugs, you kill the soil. There will be fewer birds, amphibians. Pesticides also have a way of ending up in our drinking water and our bays, rivers and ponds, not to mention our bodies. We are seeing a global collapse of insects, including the pollinators, the bees and the butterflies. Let’s stop with the Roundup. There are natural ways of dealing with insects. Dragon flies, bats, and birds like Purple Martins are all voracious mosquito eaters. Take this route over Mosquito Squad. Your neighbors and grandchildren will thank you.
We are reaching out now because it is now during January that most people make their yard care decisions, when the landscaping companies mail their annual contracts. You have the right to choose what types of services they employ. Here is a useful guide to how to talk to your landscaper:
Looking for landscapers for your ‘bay friendly yard?” Here is a convenient list, with more being added all the time.
Together, we can reinvent the suburban lawn and help preserve a way of life. As a rule of thumb, percent nitrogen per bag shouldn’t exceed 12%, with no more than 50% water soluble, so that after a hard rain we are not seeing nitrogen spikes and the resulting algal blooms. Ask your landscaper for low nitrogen, slow release fertilizer if you choose to fertilize at all.
The I Love Long Island Campaign consists of over thirty organizations.
Become a part of a movement that is working to revitalize Long Island, yard by yard!