Some activities that you do to maintain your lawn and garden, such as spraying fertilizer or pesticides, can cause the contamination of storm water. However, there are many things you can do to effectively reduce the amount of lawn and garden pollutants that contaminate storm water. Through careful planning and design, routine soil analysis, appropriate plant selection, efficient water use, mulching, and appropriate maintenance you can help protect the environment.
Preventing Lawn & Garden Pollution
The following tips will help you maintain a healthy lawn and garden without polluting water resources:
Develop a landscape plan that uses the natural conditions of the property.
Choose plants that are native to your area and climate.
Mow the grass to the proper height recommended for the particular species in your lawn.
Many grass species are healthiest when kept between 2 and 3.5 inches.
Leave grass clippings on your lawn and compost leaves.
Use mulch to prevent weed growth, conserve moisture in the soil, reduce soil erosion, and improve the landscape.
Irrigate lawns and gardens only when they begin to wilt from dryness.
Wash cars on the grass so soapy water soaks back into the ground.
Test your soil before applying fertilizer. Most grasses, flowers, ornamental shrubs, vegetables, and fruits grow best in a slightly acidic soil with a pH from 6.1 to 6.9.
Identify the pests in your lawn and garden before applying pesticides. Select the appropriate pesticide and read and follow all directions on the pesticide label.
Use Natural Alternatives to chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
Do not apply chemicals in areas adjacent to storm sewers, ponds, lakes, and/or streams.
Use pond treatments such as copper sulfate or other algal controls sparingly and avoid use altogether during rainy periods to avoid chemicals entering storm water.
Visit your local nurseries to ask about more environmentally friendly practices.