There are many ways to maintain a beautiful and healthy lawn or garden without harming yourself, your kids, or the natural world. Read on to discover tips for a lush healthy lawn or garden.
Most people living near Bear Creek take pride in having an attractive yard and garden. Residents spend hours mowing lawns, planting shrubs and trees, and weeding to make sure everything is healthy and attractive. Maintaining vegetation keeps soil in place and prevents rain from washing it into streams and rivers. Lawns, compared to paved areas, are also helpful in catching rainwater and allowing it to evaporate or soak into the soil. By simply keeping up on your landscape maintenance can be a good start to protecting creeks and rivers.
The most common ways people accidentally impact creeks and rivers are by letting pollutants enter the storm drain by applying too much water, fertilizer, and pesticides. Fertilizers are helpful while establishing a lawn, but if over-applied, water washes the nutrients from the lawn into streams where it causes excess algae growth and affects water quality. The chemicals in fertilizer kill fish, and can even be harmful to kids playing in or near the water. Growing a Stream Smart lawn is surprisingly easy! Just follow the simple tips described below for mowing, mulching, proper clean-up, watering, and weeding.
Even simple changes in how you maintain your lawn or garden can make a big difference to water quality of the streams. For example, did you know grass clippings piled up beside the road, or tossed into an irrigation ditch or creek, can be harmful to water quality? By disposing of lawn waste properly, either in the green lawn waste bins, a recycling facility, a closed lawn waste bag, or by composting, you can prevent the nutrients from accidentally polluting our streams.
Medford’s Water-wise Gardening in the Rogue Valley
Medford Water Commission
Medford Example Lawn Water Schedule
Medford Water Commission’s Lawn Watering Infoline: 541-774-2460
Ashland’s Conservation Commission
Ashland’s Water-Wise Gardening Site
City of Ashland’s Watering Hotline: 541-552-2057
Home and Garden section of Jackson Soil and Water Conservation District’s Urban Living Handbook
NACD Lawns Brochure
Simple Steps to Safe & Healthy Lawns
OSU Handout for Efficient Lawn Irrigation
Note: Much of this information is from the Willamette Valley. Therefore, the overall information provided is helpful and relevant, but some recommendations are not applicable to the Rogue Valley due to our hotter and drier summer season.
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