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Opinion

Fall is time to prepare your yard for next year

Fall fast approaches, which brings cooler temperatures and makes of think of preparations for our yards.

Yard preparations

Cleaning the garden of branches and raking the yard leaves from your property equates to the purchase of several brown kraft bags for landscape pickup from your wastehauler. Instead of giving these nutrient-rich items to a composting facility, you may do that yourself and benefit from all of your hard work.

Simply by composting these items in the fall will allow the winter months to break them down into a rich humus that may be used as a soil supplement or fertilizer in the spring for vegetable gardens, flower gardens and also houseplants.

The Grundy County Land Use Department is selling composters at cost for $50 apiece. Each composter has a single piece body made of recycled plastic, removable top lid, and sliding bottom door for ease of removing compost.

You also can make your own composter that will allow for air infiltration in the form of openings, or purchase one from your local hardware store.

During the wintertime you may also continue to add any vegetable and fruit scraps from your kitchen to aid in adding more nutrient balance to your compost pile. Through the winter months, the materials will continue to break down, and during the spring months, the heat will allow for a complete composting.

For next year’s planting, this compost will be ready for fertilizing and garden supplement.

Tree-planting time

Trees are feeling climate changes like many other living things. As temperatures continue to stay warmer, winters less severe, and moisture levels increasing, trees that are planted now may not be as viable as we would hope. Our region 5 and 6 temperatures are beginning to more reflect some of the southern regions of Illinois. Therefore, when selecting a tree that will provide resilience throughout the years, consider a diverse variety and plant as many as possible.

Temperature increases are harmful to the species of trees that depend on lower temperatures for growth and pest termination. Increased temperatures also cause evapotranspiration, which is the loss of fluids from these trees leaving them more vulnerable to disease and pest attacks. Oaks are especially critical for regeneration at this time, as many oaks are suffering from specific diseases such as oak wilt, sudden oak death and bur oak blight.

As good stewards of our community, we look toward these mighty giants being healthy for many reasons. Trees have a positive effect on our emotional state and cognitive function. Trees provide storage for carbon monoxide and are able to reduce energy consumption of our homes by providing shade. They are also home for animals and protect our water through root cleansing, and reduce stormwater runoff.

Fall is the best time to plant a tree. Root systems of trees like to have most of their growth in the fall and by planting them in September and October, you are giving the trees a good opportunity to “dig” in and be ready for spring. The Abor Day Foundation has a selection search to help determine your tree(s) based on ZIP code, flowering versus nonflowering, and shape.

Recycling events for September

Friday, Sept. 21 – 10 a.m. to noon – Shredding event in the Grundy County Administration Parking lot at 1320 Union St., Morris. Two paper box limit please.

Saturday, Sept. 22 – 8 a.m. to noon – 310 E. DuPont, Morris – Last Electronic Waste Event for 2018. TVs are free to recycle. Please do not bring any white goods.

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