Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Do Native Gardens Help the Environment more than Traditional Lawns? Your Help Needed!

Calling all Chicago gardeners....

Have you native plantings in your yard or do you maintain a traditional lawn?  Do you think natives provide more benefit for the environment than lawns?  Do you want to help test it?  Join our innovate research program and put your garden to the test! 

The idea is simple: we are evaluating the role of native plantings in improving soil health by measuring decomposition rates in native gardens and on traditional lawns.*

We need your help by volunteering your native garden OR your grassy lawn for this non-harmful, non-invasive, experiment.

The test is simple.  We will mail you a kit to install “cotton strips”** in your garden which you will return to us at the end of spring (June 2013).  The strips measure 5 inches by 10 inches and are very easy to put in place.

At the end of the experiment we will provide a full read out of the test and the full result of the competition between native gardens and traditional lawns!  Contact us at:  a.patrickus@gmail.com.  This work is supervised by Dr Liam Heneghan at DePaul University (lhenegha@gmail.com).  

*Decomposition is the rate at which dead plant material decays.
**Cotton strip are a part of a novel technique for measuring soil processes.  A small piece of cotton is inserted in the garden, retrieved after a few weeks and the loss of tensile strength measured in the lab.

1 comment:

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    David Bayel