Advice on yard maintenance, environmental sustainability as fall arrives in Lethbridge – Lethbridge
Summer, a favorite season for many southern Albertans, is officially over.
Wednesday marked the fall equinox, with many of the city’s trees already turning yellow to mark the occasion.
For more on how to take care of your garden as fall approaches, click here, and for more tips from Environment Lethbridge when the weather turns cold, click here.
Will hot, dry summer affect fall?
Kyle Fougere, meteorologist at Environment and Climate Change Canada, said the months of June to August were very dry and hot in the Lethbridge area.
“In a typical summer we would see 162 millimeters of precipitation in the Lethbridge area,” he explained. “This year we were short 100, having only received 62 millimeters, making it the seventh driest summer we have ever recorded.
“It was the fourth hottest summer on record, because we had this high pressure ridge flying over the province.”
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Throughout the first part of September, these trends continued, but Fougere explained that there was good news when it came to humidity.
“We have seen this above normal trend continue, we have not seen these extreme temperatures like we (have seen) in June and July,” he added.
“For precipitation, we would expect it to be closer to normal for this time of year.”
Lawn and garden maintenance for fall
The Green Haven Garden Center, located just outside of town, is transitioning into the fall and winter months.
Karen Barby, co-owner and manager, encourages people to change tactics when taking care of their lawns and gardens, including watering and fertilizing less, while pruning trees and other plants when necessary.
“If you still have your underground sprinklers, turn them off to 50 percent,” she said. “You don’t want to water the same way you did in the summer. “
She adds that now is the time to plant bulbs.
“In the spring, a lot of people are looking for tulips, but tulips should be planted in September, October,” she said. “They need winter.”
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Regarding fertilization, Barby said encouraging growth at this time of year is not a good thing, but using a fall fertilizer on the grass instead can help strengthen the roots. .
The the three dumpsites of the city are open until November 14 and accept items such as small branches, grass, leaves, garden clippings, clean pumpkins, and fallen fruit.
Caring for birds, insects and your utility bill
“One of the most important things is to keep all of this yard waste out of the landfill,” said Kathleen Sheppard.
Sheppard, the executive director of Environment Lethbridge, said it’s a misconception that cleaning up all yard waste is necessary.
“(We encourage) people to leave some of this material behind over the winter, it’s a great habitat for some of the little insects and things we want to encourage in our garden all year round, and it provides also nutrients (for your lawn).
“You don’t have to collect all the leaves, you can leave some. “
The science behind the beauty of fall
Sheppard said protecting local bird species from disease is also an important consideration.
“A lot of people have bird feeders, and quite a few people took them apart in the summer because the birds can find their own food,” Sheppard explained.
“When you put them back together, make sure you give them a good laundering and cleaning before putting them back on, and try to do that throughout the winter.”
She also suggests taking steps to protect homes before the weather turns bad.
“Now is a great time to think about things like sealing drafts around windows and doors,” she said. “The same goes for things like changing your furnace filter, preparing that energy-efficient stuff for the cold weather. “
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