Letter: Talk To Your Landscaper

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Please remember that your landscaper works for you. So, before you renew your contract this year, take a few minutes to think about how you, the customer, want your property treated.

Most landscaping companies on LI honor customers’ wishes to maintain lawns and gardens in a sustainable manner without the use of pesticides and high-nitrogen fertilizers. Landscapers can also easily adapt to mulching leaves on lawns. For areas on your property where leaf removal is desired, the proven rake or the progressive battery powered blowers are great choices. But in a competitive market, landscapers often feel compelled and obligated to use outdated gas- powered leaf blowers instead; don’t let them.

The fact is that your garden is getting damaged by the use of gas-powered leaf blowers as they compact the soil and literally blow away the fertilizer and grass seeds that you have paid your landscaper to apply the prior week. So this spring, tell your landscaper …

1) not to use gas powered leaf blowers on or around your property. Gas powered leaf blowers compact the soil, damage shrubs, and extensively pollute the air in and around your house with fine particulate matter and exhaust from inefficiently burned fuel.

2) to mulch rather than remove the leaves on your lawn to fertilize the grass naturally. And to remove leaves from garden beds and from under the shrubs only once in the spring, preferably with rakes to protect plants and loosen the soil at the same time.

3) not to use any pesticides or “Weed and Feed” products on your lawn. Instead, ask to aerate your lawn, overseed and apply a slow-release organic fertilizer or compost tea. Most topical applications end up in Manhasset Bay, so the smart choices here also benefit the local ecosystem.

If your landscaper is reluctant, remember, you’re the customer; you’re paying the bill.

—Juliane Saary-Littman

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