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Those who have wondered about how to maintain their yard in an efficient and environmentally friendly way can apply to have a Master Gardener offer personalized advice.
The Virginia Cooperative Extension and the James City County/Williamsburg Master Gardeners have organized the Landscape Love program, which is accepting applications through Sept. 15 from homeowners interested in having a group of Master Gardeners come to their homes for advice on how to manage their landscaping.
During each free consultation session, Master Gardeners will touch on topics such as plant selection, efficient water use, composting, drainage and erosion, and use of pesticides and fertilizers. The goal of the program is to give homeowners the information they need to not only have beautiful lawns but also create healthy, diverse and easy to maintain habitats for native flora and fauna.
Equally important is the need to create lawns that do not compromise the health of surrounding wild habitats, particularly local watersheds. This goal is achieved by minimizing the use of chemicals that run off during rain showers and pollute streams and rivers that flow toward the Chesapeake Bay.
Forgoing heavy herbicides and insecticides does not mean surrendering a garden to bugs and weeds. Master Gardeners can help organize backyards so pests are drawn away from the gardens and insects and animals are repelled.
For homeowners who wish to focus more on the care and nurturing of their lawns, the Master Gardeners can provide tips on how to fertilize plants with natural waste products and position different plant varieties in the garden to optimize their intake of sunlight and water.
On-site visits will be scheduled in late September through October. Interested parties can apply here.