by Kate Nelson, Communications Officer, MCG

If you’re like me, you probably remember going outside with your parents or grandparents and burning the field or grass in your yard every spring. Most of us just thought that this was what you did in the spring to get a healthy re-growth of grass. However, this common practice has actually been found to be very harmful to animal habitat and the soil. The Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources has put out this myth-busting guide about grass burning. So this year let’s start a new tradition of saving habitat, your animal friends will thank you for it!

To many people, burning grass is a tradition, almost a rite of spring. Upon closer examination, however, the reasons for spring grass burning are largely unfounded and rather than being beneficial, grass burning is destructive and dangerous.

Myth: It’s safe to burn grass as long as there is still some snow on the ground.

Fact: Within hours of snow melting, dead grass becomes flammable, especially if there have been drying winds. Grass fires burn hot and fast and spread quickly around, and even over, patches of snow.

Myth: Spring grass burning controls weeds.

Fact: The weeds deposited their seeds into the surrounding soil last fall. Burning creates an ideal bare soil bed for the seeds to germinate.

Myth: Spring burning improves the new grass crop.

Fact: Burning actually reduces grass yield ...

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