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Eric Rothenberger

Remax Central

Make Your Yard a Healthy Place to Relax and Entertain





Are you looking to make your home a happier, healthier, more efficient, environmentally-friendly and/or more comfortable place to live? You may want to look to your yard. To help, healthyyards.org - organized by a team of professional gardeners in southeastern New York - suggests numerous ways to boost the health of your yard, for you, and everyone who visits:

Mosquito management. Rather than spraying the yard with insecticide that will destroy mosquito larvae along with beneficial insects, consider a deterrent. Fans are very effective for outdoor seating areas. Since mosquitoes reproduce in tiny amounts of standing water, limit unnatural breeding areas like tires, planters, and buckets - or anywhere water can pool.

Ticks, too! Ticks are a very concerning pest and can cause several serious illnesses, and the team at healthyyards.org say there are no fool-proof prevention strategies. If you have a small lawn, consider a cedar oil application, some other organic solution, and/or border the lawn with a gravel path to deter rodents, which carry the ticks, from entering. Remember: pesticides, both conventional and organic, also kill beneficial insects in your yard, so treat with care.

'Leaf' them alone. Leaves provide a protective, nutrient-rich layer for plants and wildlife, shelter plant roots from excessive heat and cold, and once they decompose, they keep the soil healthy. So why spend millions of hours and gallons of fuel to blow or vacuum them? Instead, mow over fallen leaves during your final cut of the season and 'leave' beneficial mulch behind.

Don't invite trouble. Invasive plant species have little or no relationship with wildlife and have no natural predators, so they can spread undisturbed. According to the team at healthyyards.org, invasives cause loss of biodiversity, habitat degradation and other ecological and economical disasters - and require more urgent and immediate action because of their rate of spread. Learn about the early signs of invasives where you live, and weed them out as soon as they appear.