Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Mowing high helps save the Bay - and you can help prove it

The University of Maryland needs your help in their Mow Right – Mowing Height Field Study.

The purpose of this study is to measure the adoption of a single lawn care practice: correct mowing height (3 inches or highest setting).  This is the single most critical practice that homeowners need to do correctly to have a healthy lawn. All lawn best management practices hinge on proper mowing.  Many university studies have shown that mowing at 3 inches prevents weed problems, puts less stress on the grass, contributes to a healthy root system and drought resistance. Since it also provides  better resistance to insects and diseases, and helps prevent run-off  of soil, fertilizers, chemicals, and pollutants, maintaining proper mowing height also helps protect the Chesapeake Bay from pollution from runoff.

This study is a regional effort among participants from University of Maryland Extension, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Penn State Extension, Audubon International and its members, and large and small lawn care companies. It is our goal to achieve widespread adoption of the 3 inch mowing height across the region.

Why mow at 3 inches?
  • It has been widely documented that three inches is the ideal mowing height for residential turf across the country. 
  • Low and infrequent mowing may be the major cause of lawn deterioration.
  • It is best to remove no more than 1/3 of the grass blade each time you mow.
  • Mowing to the proper height can reduce weed problems by as much as 50 to 80%.
  • Sharpen or replace mower blades at least once a year or more frequently if needed.
  • Leave grass clippings on the lawn. It is a way to recycle nutrients.
For more information, visit the Growing Green Lawns website.

Drip...drip - Drip Irrigation for the Patio & Small Garden - Saturday, July 16th

Saturday, July 16: Drip…drip – Drip Irrigation for the Patio & Small Garden.  8:00am-10:00am. 

A hands on workshop for your own drip irrigation system guaranteed to stop your "water worries" on those long weekends or vacation in August.
  • Participants will learn how to assemble a low cost drip system.
  • Participants will evaluate a variety of dripper and mini-sprinklers suitable for patios and small gardens.  
  • Participants should be able to go home, order, and install a small custom system for less than $125.
  • Participants will tour Common Good City Farm's drip system which was installed by the instructor.
  • Principles learned will be adaptable to larger gardens and orchards.
Teacher: Murray Schmechel is a retired life long gardener who has been "dripping" for the last 15 years. He has helped numerous neighbors become "drip" enthusiasts.  He is part of the Common Good City Farm staff.  Register Now!

Become a Master Watershed Steward

As eco-friendly gardeners, we've learned many things that we can do from our own homes and yards to help protect the local watersheds. For those who would like to learn more, you may want to consider becoming a Master Watershed Steward.
Deadline for Applications is July 22nd 
The fall course of the cutting edge National Capital Region-Watershed Stewards Academy will begin in September. A 15-class course spanning 5 months, the Academy will be held primarily at the University of the District of Columbia at the Van Ness campus in DC right near Metro. 
Through the course, we will help empower community activists and leaders help their neighbors change how they handle stormwater.  Participants become Master Watershed Stewards by completing the course and taking on a Capstone Project that will begin to reduce pollution and runoff at its source, neighborhood by neighborhood. 

Course charge is $225, but scholarships are available. The Academy is being run by a coalition of local and regional watershed nonprofit organizations.

 If you want to expand your activism and deepen your knowledge base and resources about the environment as it pertains to watersheds and stormwater management and the quality of life of your community, we invite you to apply to the Watershed Stewards Academy

 Please visit www.ncr-wsa.org for questions and to apply.

Website by Water Words That Work LLC