Spring is time for gardening and walking, environmentally

To the Editor:

Hey spring. We are all waiting anxiously. Every day looking for the first crocuses to poke their heads up to the sun. But I do hope the itch to get out and stretch your legs is starting. If you need some ideas where to start, we recommend you go to the library or the Recreation Department and ask for The Milford Walking Book, which will point you to many walks all over Milford.

Next I would like to remind the gardeners in the family to be looking for directions on how to go organic for your lawn and garden care. Going organic is much easier and less expensive than buying all those high nitrogen fertilizers and pesticides that the three-step care people recommend.

There are organic fertilizers and organic treatments for bugs like grubs available. For your lawn, we recommend first getting a soil sample, which costs nothing at the Agricultural Station in New Haven, and ask for organic recommendations. If your Ph is lower than 6.5, all you may need will be some lime and then you are ready to go.

After that by keeping the grass three inches high before cutting and leaving the clippings on the lawn will be sufficient enough fertilizer, and mulching the leaves in the fall will complete your treatment for the lawn. There may be spots that will benefit with some reseeding and the fall is the good time to do that.

The benefit of going organic is that your lawn is now safe for your children and pets to play on without being exposed to the toxic pesticides, and when it rains the high-nitrogen fertilizers and pesticides won't get washed down the storm drains, which lead to Long Island Sound. All those chemicals affect the marine life and contribute to reducing the oxygen and killing the fish, and often causes beach closings during the hot summer months.

Every year since 1996, except for last year, the Environmental Concerns Coalition (ECC) has held a Freedom Lawn contest and given prizes for the best organic lawns and gardens.

Everyone who participates will have their gardens and lawns photographed, which will appear in a booklet. The winners will receive their own copy. If you go to the library you will see how beautiful these booklets are.

If you have a beautiful display of tulips, daffodils or blossoming trees and bushes, we would like to begin photographing your yard, early spring, and right up to late fall. We’re also interested in seeing if you have photos of your winter garden.

We will be happy to take pictures, or if you want to submit your own when your yard reaches its peek, please call 203-878-0910 to enter the contest. We are not interested in perfection and will be pleased to see your dandelions in bloom.

Ann Berman