We were honored to have been contacted by Harold Bubil, former Real Estate Editor for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, to discuss ways that homeowners can care for their landscapes with as little impact as possible on our suffering waterways. The conversation was featured in the Sunday edition of the newspaper, August 19.
“Agricultural runoff plays a key role in the Lake O crisis, but a Sarasota landscape architect points to poorly maintained residential yards and gardens as contributing to the problem of clean water.
‘It is really easy for a homeowner to apply more water and more fertilizer than a plant needs,’ said Michael Gilkey, ‘and both of those contribute negatively to the problem we are having.
‘We want our plants to be healthy and strong, and a lot of that has to do with a large root system. The larger the root system, the less requirement that plant has. And the way to a large root system is to make that plant be a little hungry and a little thirsty, especially in the first 18 months of establishment, so it really stretches its roots out.’
Overwatering and over-fertilizing cause roots to stay compact and close to the surface of the ground, he said in a telephone interview. ‘They become more prone to disease and drought. So not only is it impacting the red-tide scenario, it also is not healthy for the plant,’ Gilkey added.”
Bubil went on to reference several steps we suggested to homeowners in our blog and recent newsletter to clients. We are grateful to The Herald-Tribune and to all community entities working together to find solutions to this complex problem. Read the article it in its entirety here.