Trout Friendly Landscape - Gold Certification
First and Last Name
Landscape Design & Plant Selection (select a minimum of 4)
Choose plants that are suitable for Big Sky. Prioritize native, drought-tolerant, fire-resistant, and cold-hardy species.
Identify the microclimates on your property (i.e. moisture, sun, shade, wind, heat) and select plants that can survive and thrive in these zones without much watering.
Reduce the amount of plant material needed by incorporating permeable pavers, rock terraces, and large boulders, which also minimize erosion, and improves fire defensible space.
Create "islands" of vegetation surrounded by mulch or permeable hardscape such as pebble, rock, or gravel pathways.
Invest in a consultation with a local landscape architect or landscaper specializing in trout-friendly landscaping practices and follow the recommendations.
Soil Improvement (select a minimum of 4)
Add 3” of mulch to garden beds (stone or rock mulch is preferred for fire defense) to retain moisture, minimize evaporation, eliminate weed growth, and moderate soil temperature.
Test your soil to determine how much and what proportion of nutrients your landscape actually needs.
Add soil amendments as recommend by the soil test.
Spade, plow, or rototill to a depth of about six inches to break up compacted soil and allow root systems to grow deeper.
Add organic matter such as compost or shredded leaves to improve water storage.
Practical Lawn Areas (select a minimum of 4)
Regularly mow lawns and set the mower blade to three inches to decrease water, fertilizer, and pesticide needs.
Plant turfgrass with a purpose in mind (i.e play area) and keep the lawn size practical for that use.
Cut back turf areas that don’t get much use and replace with groundcover, flower gardens, or permeable hardscape.
Plant turfgrass close to structures and on level ground for maximum water absorption and fire defensible space.
Establish or convert lawns from Kentucky blue grass to drought-tolerant, native grass species, or fire-resistant ground cover.
Efficient Irrigation (select a minimum of 4)
Water between 4:00 am and 8:00 am to reduce water loss from wind and heat. Adjust watering routines seasonally. Stop watering when its raining.
Pick up a free rain gauge from the Task Force and place it in your yard. If you get ¾ to 1 inch of rain in a week, you can skip your next watering.
Invest in an irrigation audit and follow the recommendations.
Install drip irrigation for flower beds, shrubs, and trees to reduce evaporation and weeds.
Install a rain sensor or moisture sensor shutoff device for automatic sprinkler systems.
Observe outdoor irrigation restrictions in effect.
Chemical Reduction (select a minimum of 4)
Know what weeds you are dealing with, when it is best to treat them, and the most effective treatment method. For help identifying and treating noxious weeds, schedule a free site assessment with the Gallatin Invasive Species Alliance.
Utilize a variety of techniques (mowing, hand pulling, native vegetation) to manage weeds.
Use natural herbicides and pesticides only (i.e. Burn Out, clove oil, 20% vinegar solutions, Adios).
If synthetic herbicide is warranted - only apply herbicide for state and county listed noxious weeds, using spot spraying or mechanical removal techniques (no broadcast applications) AND only when it is the most effective way to control weeds. Never water after application and do not apply before rainstorms.
Use only organic fertilizers such as compost, compost tea, etc.
If synthetic fertilizer is warranted – fertilize turf twice a year applying only the correct amount, so excess fertilizer does not leach through the soil or run off and contaminate water. Never water after application and do not apply before rainstorms.
Erosion Control (select a minimum of 4)
Ensure your property has proper drainage and correct erosion problems. Observe what happens during irrigation, a rain storm or strong winds. Muddy water flowing off the property or dust clouds indicate an erosion problem.
Keep existing native plants, shrubs and trees on site. If removal is necessary for defensible space – replace with fire defensible plants, mulch or permeable hardscape features.
Revegetate areas of bare, disturbed soil to prevent erosion or weed infestation using a mixture of non-turf grasses, perennial flowers and shrubs.
Stabilize steep slopes with vegetation and structures (i.e. retaining walls, terraces, etc.).
Collect and direct runoff to shallow infiltration systems (i.e. rain gardens) where the water can soak into the ground.
Streamside Buffers (select a minimum of 4)
Not Applicable - I do not have a stream, river, or wetland on my property.
Maintain a 5-20ft buffer of unmanicured landscaping and native plants, shrubs, and trees around water.
Plant native species that are suitable for riparian areas to improve habitat and protect streams and wetlands.
Avoid destroying vegetation to gain access to a stream or pond.
Plan for minimum impact and never dig, cut native vegetation, or build within streamside or wetland areas.
Do not apply pesticides, fertilizers, or herbicides within 20 feet of water.
If you hire a professional landscaping or lawn care company to care for your property, please provide their business name:
Are you interested in placing a Trout-Friendly sign in your landscape to show your commitment to watershed stewardship?
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This form was created inside of Gallatin River Task Force.