Getting Started

Importance of Buffers
Benefits of Buffers
Links for Buffers
Getting Started
Determining Slope
Planting Materials
Landscape Maintenance
Getting Started with Landscape Maintenance
Links for Landscape Maintenance

I want to plant a backyard buffer. How can I get started?

Seneca River, Town of BrutusStarting a backyard buffer is not a difficult thing to do. You can start small the first year and add to your buffer every year. A simple way to ease into creating your backyard buffer is to allow your grass to grow wild! This homeowner on the Seneca River is protecting water quality because the roots of the long grass hold soil in place better than a manicured lawn. Also, the grass traps sediment and nutrients before they can reach the shoreline.

Even though starting a buffer is fun and easy, there are a few things you should keep in mind before you begin:
  • Plan to plant in early spring or fall

  • Plan on having to water at least twice a week during the first season

  • Next, gather basic site information:

    • Existing slope vegetation---this provides clues to what will grow best
    • Soil pH and texture-some plants require specific soil conditions to thrive
    • Drainage patterns---choose plants that can tolerate "wet feet" in frequently inundated areas
    • Slope---vegetative buffers and erosion control techniques are applicable to certain slopes
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Updated: November 22, 2002