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Old 07-01-2009, 03:39 PM   #1
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Default For lawns, a little can go a long way

For lawns, a little can go a long way
Published: June 26, 2009
By Elizabeth Sagmiller
For the Keizertimes

Keizertimes.com
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Fertilize that lawn if you must, but remember that more isn't necessarily better. Excess fertilizer can be washed into the storm system through irrigation or precipitation which can be harmful to our local waterways and the species that depend on it. When using fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, and insecticides always follow label instructions and remember that if your goal is to eliminate a nuisance (be it plant or animal), the chemical you are using is also likely to eliminate the good stuff. Some studies are now linking the chemicals in landscape products to a mutation in some fish that results in a lower egg count, sexual abnormalities, fungal lesions, and even fish kill.

Alternatives, such as properly watering your lawn can help keep it green and healthy. Water for longer periods of time on fewer days and you're likely to see the positive results. Also consider removing part of your lawn and planting native shrubs and trees. Not only will you decrease your dependence on chemicals, but you'll also find that native species need less water and provide good habitat for birds, insects and other critical wildlife.
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And remember those chemicals you used on your lawn? They're in that soil too which means they end up in your nearest neighborhood creek. Consider planting trees to provide shade to the stream and you'll be rewarded with stable banks that aren't as susceptible to erosion. Deep root systems such as those associated with trees and shrubs do a much better job of holding the soil in place than grass that has a very shallow root system.
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