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Spring Conservation April 2024

Spring 2024

“Spring is far more than a changing of the seasons: it’s a rebirth of spirit.” - Toni Sorenson

As the days get longer and temperatures continue to rise, the desire to start spending more time outdoors increases for many of us. Soon enough a whole new palette will once again be unveiled by Mother Nature and our landscape will pop with the colors of green, yellow, pink, white and purple. Snow shovels and snowblowers will return to their seasonal spaces in our basements and sheds, while lawnmowers and garden hoses will again return from their winter hibernations.

Photo by Lasclay on Unsplash

The welcomed reappearance of spring is inevitably accompanied by increased water usage by many of us as we return to the pleasures of gardening and enjoying our outdoor spaces. Summer water lines will soon be charged up and flowing to welcome back our seasonal residents, and lawn irrigation systems at an increasing number of homes throughout town will once again be put back in service to keep lawns green and lush.

There is a marked increase this time of year in the demand on the Town of York’s drinking water resources, making spring a great time for all of us to think about good water conservation habits as we reemerge from the confines of our homes following another long New England winter. Of course, water conservation should be a year-round pursuit for all of us to ensure that this vital natural resource is always available when we need it, as days of abundance can turn to days of scarcity in a short amount of time.

Please keep the following conservation tips in mind as we leave winter behind and welcome the longer, warmer days of spring and the beauty that comes along with it:

  • Try xeriscaping. Choose drought tolerant plants that require minimal watering once roots have been established. A few suggestions for this growing region are:

    • Annuals – Cosmos, Marigolds and Morning Glory

    • Perennials – Aster, Milkweed and Sunflower

    • Shrubs – Brooms, Junipers and Beach Rose

Photo by Amber Malquist on Unsplash

Photo by Ivan Evans on Unsplash

  • Apply mulch with a depth of three to four inches, which usually provides the right amount of coverage for most plants. Make sure to remove weeds before putting down the mulch.

  • Adding soil amendments like compost, grass clippings, or wood chips will help retain moisture, so you don’t have to water as often.

  • Minimize or eliminate fertilizer. Fertilizer can cause your plantings to require additional water.

    • If you must use fertilizer, look for a product that contains “natural organic” or “slow-release” ingredients. Besides slowly and evenly feeding your plants slow-release fertilizers can also reduce nutrient run-off into ground and surface waters.

  • If you are using irrigation, routinely check the irrigation system for leaks and clogged sprinkler heads.

Written by Charlie Black and Karen Hale

Title Photo by Lisa Forkner on Unsplash

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