Kittery is home to incredible water resources including Spruce Creek, Legion Pond, Barters Creek and many more. Protecting these waterbodies and keeping them healthy, actually starts right at home. Even if you don’t live on or near the water, improper or unnecessary use of the fertilizers and pesticides used on your lawn, can find their way into our waterbodies causing harmful algal blooms and damage to aquatic life.
Since caring for your lawn can have a dramatic impact on the ecosystem in and around our waterbodies, our Shoreland Resource Officer, Jessa Kellogg has provided some helpful information and maintenance tips to help keep both lawns, and Kittery’s water resources, at their healthiest.
- Water: Grass does need water, but improper watering can cause problems for a lawn such as diseases and shallow root structure. A shallow root structure may not be able to hold on to the soil during runoff and is liable to cause an ongoing erosion problem. A healthy lawn requires one good soaking of up to an inch of water per week.
- Fertilizer: Quick release fertilizers and pesticides can produce a green lawn in a short time. However, they may also disturb the natural chemical and biological balance of the lawn, and have the potential to cause algae blooms from high-levels of phosphorus. Opting for only low-phosphorus or phosphorus-free fertilizers would greatly benefit lawns, as well as our waterbodies.
- Mowing: One of the most neglected components of an otherwise healthy lawn is the lawn mower. If the tips of the grass have a jagged or uneven tip after mowing, the lawn mower blade is dull and must be sharpened. Try to avoid mowing too short, or too often as grass that’s consistently cut too short is more susceptible to serious damage from drought or high temperatures.
You can help keep Kittery's waterbodies beautiful by understanding that you are part of the solution to water quality problems. Your actions affect the water and environment all around us.
For more on how to maintain your lawn in a responsible manner and discover how small changes can make a big difference, attend one of these upcoming Yardscaping Workshops!
Wednesday, April 11th, from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM
Thursday, April 12th, from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM