QUICK TIPS FOR A HEALTHY & MORE ECOLOGICAL LANDSCAPE:
1. Learn about your area
Being a conscious landowner means knowing about the local weather patterns and climate considerations. With global warming we are predicted to see an increase in both drought and flooding in New York, among other changes to the landscape.
2. Assess your site
Learning about the local flora and fauna, soil types, geology and native species in the landscape can help you make better choices. Engaging in a landscape design process helps integrate your ideas into practice.
3. Set some goals
Are you interested in providing habitat for wildlife? Or growing your own food for home use, or maybe for some side income? Perhaps some of both? Setting some clear objectives for your land will help you make decisions down the road.
4. Explore landowner issues
There are many things a landowner should know about in New York State. Read more about it in the basic landowner checklist (COMING SOON). The issue of gas leasing is also a hot topic in the state, and the CCE/Cornell Marcellus Shale team has compiled numerous resources on the topic.
5. Manage water issues
Depending on the season, most areas of New York experience extreme pulses of rainfall and flooding. Information about swales, diversion ditches, and rain gardens will be made available here soon.
6. Plant and care for trees & shrubs
Woody plants are an investment in your landscape. Search Cornell’s Woody plant database to find plants suitable for your property. You can also read up on the basics of planting and caring for woody plants.
7. Grow some fruit
Small-scale cultivation of fruit is some of the most satisfying work you can do on your property. Each type of plant has specific needs for successful growing at home. The Cornell Guide to Growing Fruit at home is your best resource to get started. More ambitious growers are encouraged to visit the Cornell Fruit homepage, which is more geared toward commercial production.
8. Observe and enhance wildlife
Wildlife on your landscape can be a pleasure and a pain. Learn about animal biology and habits in you want to plan to work with wildlife. Cornell has extensive research completed on deer population management as well as guidelines for a number of other wildlife animals. If bird’s are your interest, check out the Lab of Ornithology website.
9. Contain invasive plants
There are numerous plants introduced into the landscape that may interfere with landowner objectives. See Alternatives to Ornamental Invasive Plants. Learn more from: Ecology and Management of Invasive Plants Program; NY Invasive Species Information; NY First Detector.
10. Engage in healthy forest management
Management of our state’s forested resources for timber, mushrooms, and other products is an important task of any landowner. The CU ForestConnect page gives detailed information on all aspects of forestry.