It’s Spring: Time to BayScape

Posted on Apr 30, 2013

BackCove in bloomFor eager gardeners, our brown yards are calling for us to get started. How can you prepare your lawn for a healthy summer? There are chemical-free things you can do to make your yard ready for the growing season.

Most homeowners are unaware that what they put on their lawns and gardens could run off into streams and end up in the ocean. Stormwater sampling we conducted in 12 coastal communities around Casco Bay has shown that several kinds of pesticides and nutrients found in fertilizers are entering our waters. This data shows the need for our BayScaping program, which promotes ecological lawn care strategies that don’t rely on using pesticides and fertilizers.

A Spring TO DO LIST for Your Yard

  • Rake winter debris away from storm drains and add to your compost pile.
  • Make/buy a rain gauge to ensure your lawn gets 1-1.5 inches of water a week.
  • Sharpen the blades of your lawn mower.
  • Aerate your lawn to loosen thatch and compacted soil. Rent an aerator or
  • hire a professional.
  • Weed by hand while the soil is still wet, making it easier to pull out the roots.
  • Test your soil. For as little as $15, University of Maine Cooperative Extension will analyze your soil and tell you what nutrients (if any) your yard needs.
  • Request a free BayScaping Packet, including a soil test kit, at
  • keeper [at] cascobay [dot] org.
  • Organize a Neighborhood BayScaping Social by inviting a speaker from Friends of Casco Bay at keeper [at] cascobay [dot] org.

For the rest of the growing season, follow these simple, labor-saving steps:

  • Water deeply but infrequently
  • Mow high
  • Leave grass clippings
  • Resist fertilizing
  • Find out more at