Last updated: September 06. 2013 6:26PM - 57 Views

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Good manners should be required in all aspects of our lives, including our yard and garden. Take a few moments to consider how your lawn or garden may affect your neighbor because most agree, “one man’s treasure is another man’s trash.”

First consider those lovely bushes at the end of your driveway. Could they be obstructing your neighbor’s view when they back out of their own driveway? A trim here and there could prevent a serious accident.

Many people choose invasive species of plants such as English ivy, bamboo or mint because they are so darn easy to grow and can often help screen unsightly structures. The perimeter of my back yard is surrounded by my neighbor’s English ivy. If I am not constantly vigilant in cutting it back it will soon overtake and choke out my evergreens, day lilies and rose bushes. Bamboo and mint are also volatile and can quickly overtake adjoining gardens.

Other irritants can occur in lawn care or lack thereof. It’s important to make sure your lawn clippings are not being directed into your neighbor’s yard. The same is true for fall leaves. One neighbor that fails to treat weeds or grubs can create a lot of tension with neighbors who take great pride in their lawns.

Take a look at the trees you have planted near or on your property line. Other than the obvious problems caused by blowing leaves, some trees emit a toxin that can inhibit growth of other vegetation. For example, black walnut trees emit juglone in the area under their canopy that can negatively affect other trees and plants years after the tree is removed.

Besides being a good neighbor, property lines should be respected because it’s the law. Make sure you are planting on your own property; if not, your neighbor has the right to remove your plantings. Sometimes, ill-conceived plantings have resulted in expensive surveys and even lawsuits. Formerly good neighbors can quickly become enemies when embroiled in a property dispute.

Take a look around your neighborhood and determine who could benefit from the bounties of your garden. An elderly shut in would certainly appreciate some fresh vegetables or cut flowers to brighten their day.

There are many other examples of exercising good manners in the yard and garden. Unfortunately, we humans often think more about how others do harm to us rather than how we may harm others. By making yourself aware, you are taking the first step towards building a better neighborhood.

Delaware harvest local food guide is here

Do you know where you can buy locally produced flour, cheese, pies and honey? Do you know where and when the farmer markets are in Delaware County? What produce and products are in season, so you can optimize your fresh purchases? The answer to all these questions can be found in the 2011 edition of the Delaware Harvest Local Food Guide. The guides can be found at the following locations: Sunbury Farmers Market (Charles Glass), Delaware Main Street Farmers Market (Nicks Pickins and Main Street booth), Delaware Community Market, Delaware Extension Office, Freeman’s Country Market and other various locations in the county. If you would like to have them available at your location, please contact the Extension office at 740-833-2030 and we will get them to you. Thank you to Delaware County for your support of this food guide, helping to build a stronger community one bite at a time.

Canning and preserving class in Ashley

Join the Delaware County Extension Office and Ashley Community Garden project at 2 p.m. Saturday, July 23 at the Wornstaff Memorial Library, 302 E High Street, Ashley for a program on canning/preserving taught by Joyce Fittro, OSU Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences. No reservations required.

Michele Pearson is an OSU Extension Delaware County Master Gardener Volunteer.

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