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Posted by: | Posted on: December 16, 2014

Plant Conservation Helps Resilience

We all share the same planet and precious resources, so it is up to us to make the most of our environment without ruining it for future generations. Whether we look at plants in from urban and city streets. to gardens, backyards and farms to mountains and wilderness, we all need to address pressing conservation issues and so help preserve the planets fabulous biological heritage.

For the best way to protect people and the planet from major changes which impact future generations such as climate change, it is important to both conserve and encourage biodiversity, not just in farms and forests, but also in our seas and oceans. We are still discovering how much of our life on planet earth is interlinked is some way or another, often in a way which is not immediately obvious. Having a wide range of plant and animal life helps increase biodiversity which can make our fragile ecosystem more resilient to environmental changes, such as long-term flooding or prolonged periods of drought. This is essential as we slowly see the effects of global warming and increased temperatures and extremes of drought and floods are becoming more widespread.

Legacy or older varieties of crops and ornamental plants are important to conserve, even in these days of hybrids and gene manipulation. Often some important genetic traits are lost in the rush to commercialize horticulture. If you are in areas where there are older varieties still surviving, do your part in conserving them. Having some basic guidelines when in areas where there are rare foliage makes sense. It is important not to collect or damage plants in the wild, or to purchase wild animals or birds, from trappers who have poached them from their natural environment, after all, they help pollinate flowers and trees and help by dispersing seeds of many different plants over a wider area.


Long Island Flood Damage Effects on Plants

Posted by: | Posted on: July 30, 2016

When you think of cleaning up after Long Island water damage, then what often first comes to mind is flooding in the home via a burst pipe, bathtub overflow or broken appliance. However serious that is to the homeowner, it is insignificant when it comes to a natural flood. Usually caused by a storm surge or torrential rainfall, the effects on both property and the environment can be massive. Of course flooding can occur due to many different factors such as a hurricane, flash flood, spring thaw or even continuous heavy rain. According to Suffolk County, approximately fifteen percent of Long Island residents reside in a category 4 storm flood zone. Historically LI was not considered at risk for flooding until the arrival of hurricane Sandy in 2012.

Hurricane Sandy resulted in major flooding in affected areas included Suffolk County areas of Fire Island, Babylon, Brookhaven, Islip, Riverhead, Southampton and Southold. In addition Nassau County areas of South Shore, including south of Sunrise Highway, as well as the North Shore’s areas north of Route 25A were all affected, by a storm surge that was 14 feet above low water level. The tides are important, because if a storm surge occurs at high tide, it has a much more devastating effect as water levels are naturally higher to start with.
The effects on the environment and plant-life are largely caused by what is known as category 3 water, sometimes known as ‘black water’. As flood water causes drains and sewers to overflow, the clean rain water is mixed with rising levels of raw untreated sewage, and other sources of contaminants. This category three water contains a mixture of chemicals, harmful bacteria and fungi. Sensitive plants can recover from temporary flooding with clean water, but if too much of the toxins are absorbed via roots and leaves, then the plant may die.

The most common effects from mold growth after flooding are allergic responses from breathing mold spores. Serious infections from living molds are relatively rare and occur mainly in people with severely suppressed immune systems, or other breating conditions. Many types of molds may produce toxins but only under certain growth conditions. Toxic effects have been reported from eating moldy grain, however it is best to be safe than sorry, and avoid any contaminated food.

Some plants have low low water use (drought tolerant), and can be more resistant to absorbing toxic water. Shrubs such as Snow-on-the-Mountain, Blueberry Muffin Ajuga, Pussytoes, Eye Candy Ice Plant, Cousin It Casuarina, Baby Tears Stonecrop, Sterling Silver Vinca and Ralph Shugert Periwinkle are typical tolerant ground cover shrubs..

After a flood it is a good idea to remove damaged shoots from affected plants. Of course edible crops that are near to harvest are potentially harmful and should not be eaten. Uncooked plants that are normally eaten raw should be disposed of, and for a period of up to two years after a category 3 water flood, leafy plants and salad crops should not be grown or consumed as the toxins may still be present near the surface and disease spores may still be present in the soil. If can take up to two years of natural rainfall and drainage before a flooded area can be considered back to normal.

Hurricane Sandy: Long Island Endures


Lawn Irrigation Repair to Preserve a Great Looking Garden

Posted by: | Posted on: January 31, 2015

Creating and having a beautiful garden is a pleasurable well to spend ones time, but keeping it looking beautiful can rapidly become a chore. If an automatic watering system is used, then maintaining the system with a regular lawn irrigation repair as well as planting and trimming the foliage is a vital part of keeping gardening upkeep.

When it comes to irrigating a home backyard, these days there are a number of choices. Traditionally a lawn sprinkler system has been the garden lover’s choice, and more recently these have been aided and abetted by the addition of drip irrigation systems. Both systems have their place and have advantages and disadvantage when it comes to repair and maintenance. Drip systems are most commonly used in restricted areas, such as in a flower bed or around a house foundation. The latter is particularly common to prevent foundations drying out too much in hot dry areas like in Dallas Texas.

Lawn Sprinklers
Typically a system is installed in a larger backyard, especially if there is a large area of lawn which needs the grass to be watered regularly. Most systems are divided into a number of zones which are activated by an electronic controller. Typically the zones are controlled by an electric solenoid valve which are switched on and off by a signal from the controller. Each zone will connect to a number of sprinkler heads which distribute the water.

Dried Out Lawn
It is usually easy to spot a sprinkler system with a problem. Most often the area around the problem zone or sprinkler head will dry out rapidly and the grass will dry out and turn brown. dried--out-lawnFortunately this is a natural reaction that grass will take to preserve itself during dry conditions, and is not always permanent. As long as the sprinklers are being regularly maintained and looked after, the problem can be quickly identified and fixed, and soon the grass will revive itself and retain its healthy vibrant green color.

Lawn Sprinkler Repair
There are several issues that typically need occasional repairs. By far the most common maintenance issue is that heads are damaged by a lawn cutting service, it is easy to speed past on a large mower with the blades passing too close to a pop-up head and slicing off the top. This is not easily noticeable when the sprinkler system is turned off, but as soon as the zone is activated a fountain of water soon shows the immediate problem. For more details contact a lawn sprinkler repair contractor like the experts found at http://www.ccssprinkler.com

Another maintenance problem is if there is a partial blockage in the sprinkler line of head, caused by the entry of dirt or a small stone into the system, or alternatively a solenoid valve which is only partially opening, and so only a small stream or dribble of water comes out which will not provide enough water.

Sprinkler Valve Repair
On a system that has been installed for a number of years, there are other malfunctions that occur. Over time after many thousands and thousands of used, the electrical solenoid valve can wear out, either the rubber seals can become dried and brittle, or the moving piston that operates the valve can become stuck. A valve repair can be carried out by replacing the solenoid, valve body or most commonly by swapping out the valve itself. Another maintenance issue that occurs with electrical control systems is that an electrical connection or joint may corrode, and the corrosion on the copper wire can start to insulate the wire, so stopping the control signal from travelling down the wire. This can be repaired by simply cleaning the wires, and re-making the connection. A long term solution is tu use a grease-filled connector, which stops the future ingress of water.