Memorial Day is often thought as the unofficial start of Summer. People come to the lake to open things up and it is much nicer to know that you are at the start of a new season when you do some work and then can play rather than closing it up in the Fall which means work but no play. As people return to the lake, we need to remember a few things about taking care of it. Most people know what can hurt the lake and surrounding area but some people need to be educated. Some seemingly innocent things can cause real problems and many people don’t know about them. If you see something that isn’t right, gently let the person know. They may not know that they are might be causing a problem.
First, realize that the ticks have a great winter. The deep snow kept them warm and now they are out in force. Protect yourself from them but then check for them. Sometimes, they don’t behave or respect the preventive measures you take. Even doing a little weeding in the garden can allow a tick to climb on. It is almost better to thrash through the woods and fields because then you know you are “at risk” and check. Better safe than sorry because ticks can carry nasty microbes.
Second, bringing firewood from home can bring invasive bugs, hiding under the bark that you can’t see. Moving firewood is the most common way for invasive insects to spread. Buy local if you want wood.
Third, don’t let your boat bring invasive pests. If your boat hasn’t been in the water since last year, there are no problems with putting it into our lake. If it has been recently in other lakes, use the “Clean, Drain and Dry” method. Hose it off if possible, drain all water from it and let it dry or dry it with cloth. Canoes and kayaks are problems, too, as they often are put in and out of different bodies of water frequently. This doesn’t just apply to motor boats!
Fourth, use fertilizer with a “0” as the middle number such as 10-0-10. The middle number if phosphorous and our soils have enough of it to keep your grass doing well. The phosphorous makes algae bloom and that is not what we want. Kingswood Golf Club doesn’t add phosphorous when they fertilize their fairways so you don’t need it either.