Gardening with Micki: The Yard By Yard program practices urban conservation | Lifestyles
There is a garden revolution in Oklahoma. It started in Oklahoma City, spread to Tulsa; now he’s coming to Muskogee. It’s a quiet revolution taking place in your backyard sponsored by the Muskogee County Conservation District. It’s called “Yard By Yard” and you can join this community resilience program, if you want.
The program, endorsed by Papilion in Honor Heights Park, is designed to help gardeners improve their soil, conserve water and maintain a lawn pest free. This means there is no use of synthetic herbicides, pesticides or preemergence applications.
Yard By Yard hopes to engage citizens who will implement urban conservation practices that promote clean water and local recycling that will have a positive impact on their neighborhood. This is called “doing the right thing” for your neighborhood.
“The Yard By Yard program is part of our mission to maintain butterfly habitat and follow environmentally responsible practices,” said Katherine Coburn, Director of Papilion.
Cathy Cheadle, Tulsa, leads the Muskogee Project, which follows four guidelines regarding soil, water, food and habitat:
SOIL: Requires the use of organic mulch and compost capable of capturing organic matter which adds moisture to the soil.
WATER: This category suggests xeriscape or planting heat tolerant plants that use very little water. An efficient irrigation system that uses rainwater is a necessity. This guideline suggests efficient irrigation equipment, such as rain barrels to capture rainwater, or sewage to seep into the soil.
FEEDING: This category suggests the planting of vegetable gardens and aromatic herbs, the use of cover crops or the presence of fruit products, trees or shrubs. The guidelines also note the inclusion of grazing or grazing animals such as chickens or goats. Maintenance of beehives for honey production is also recommended.
HABITAT: This directive requires the greatest attention. He suggests the use of well-adapted plants and the use of milkweed to attract monarch butterflies. Other criteria include reducing or eliminating invasive plants in your landscape. It also mentions the disposal of lawn or turf. However, functional and flowering lawn species, such as clover, are protected and not mowed.
Planting diversity provides nectar and pollen to wildlife during the growing season is part of the guidelines. Another idea is to create bee hotels, birdhouses or bat houses. There is no prize to participate in Yard By Yard – just a sign in your yard that says you care about the environment.