News to Use Podcast Transcript: May 18, 2011
Good day, and welcome to the Fairfax County News to Use podcast for May
18, 2011.Coming up, learn about rain barrels, the 12th annual Tim Harmon
5K Run/Walk and the proper way, and time, to fertilize your lawn. Links
to topics mentioned in this podcast can be found online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov.
Having a rain barrel or multiple rain barrels attached to your down spouts is a practical way to conserve and reuse water and prevent water pollution. Think about all of the money you will save by using stormwater runoff from your roof for watering your lawn and garden. Rain barrels are easy to install for most people who have some basic skills with tools. When a rain barrel is correctly installed it can:
Hold 55 gallons of water.
Save money on your water bill.
Provide a source of non-chlorinated water for re-use on your lawn or
Prevent polluted stormwater runoff from entering streams.
Help recharge ground water naturally.
Improve water quality by reducing stormwater runoff that flows from
your roof (a source of water pollution).
- Prevent pollution that damages the Chesapeake Bay.
To learn more about rain barrels and rain barrel do-it-yourself workshops in Fairfax County, visit www.tiny.cc/rainbarrels.
Sign up now for the 12th annual Tim Harmon 5K Run/Walk on Saturday, June 25, at 8:30 a.m. The run/walk will be held at the Fairfax County Government Center and is sponsored by the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board to raise awareness about substance abuse and Hepatitis C, to raise funds to help people served by the CSB and to honor the memory of Tim Harmon. Registration is $20 before June 11; $25 after. Contact Peggy Cook at 703-383-8441 for more information or visit www.timharmon5k.org/.
When it comes to fertilizer, more is not better. Remember the saying: “Fertilize in the fall, if at all.” Gardeners waste money and injure their plants with too much or too many applications of fertilizer. Excess fertilizer washes off lawns and sidewalks into storm drains and streams and is a major source of water pollution. The best way to determine if your lawn needs fertilizer is to test your soil. Soil test kits are available for about $10 from public libraries. Information on soil testing is available from your Fairfax County Virginia Cooperative Extension.
Here are some spring gardening tips that prevent water pollution and save money:
Apply fertilizer during the first two weeks in September; or between
the last mowing and Thanksgiving.
Look for fertilizers with high levels of water insoluble
Never apply more than one pound of soluble nitrogen per 1,000 square
feet at one time.
Never fertilize when the grass is dormant or brown.
Keep fertilizer off your sidewalks and driveways.
- Use a decomposed organic mulch or compost around plantings as a non-chemical fertilizer.
By using healthy lawn care practices, you will cut down the need for pest control. If you use pesticides, apply only to the area that is affected by the pest.
For a free copy of “A Virginian’s Guide to Yard Care,” call 703-324-1460. For more information contact the Master Gardener at the Virginia Cooperative Extension at 703-324-8556 or email MGFairfax@VT.edu.
That’s all for this News to Use podcast. Thanks for listening. For more information about the topics in this podcast and for continuous news updates, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/news. You may also call 703-FAIRFAX, that’s 703-324-7329, weekdays between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. News to Use is produced by the Fairfax County, Virginia, government.