Did you know that trees, shrubs and lawns can help keep our lakes and streams clean? They capture rainwater so it soaks into the ground instead of running into storm sewers.

Unfortunately, the fertilizers used by homeowners and lawn companies are troublesome when they get carried into rivers and lakes.

Many fertilizers contain nitrogen and when that nutrient washes into the waterways it contributes to:

  • algae blooms
  • aquatic weed growth
  • lower oxygen levels
  • and the release of ammonia, which is toxic to fish

Take It Slow

It’s okay to fertilize but take some time to do it right.

  • Get a soil test first to determine what nutrients your lawn really needs. That way, you won’t spend extra money on needless applications. You can download soil testing instructions and an information sheet fromhttp://uwlab.soils.wisc.edu/.
  • When applying fertilizer, make sure it doesn’t drop on your driveway or the sidewalk. If it does, simply sweep up the extra and place it back in the bag. Otherwise, the next rain shower will carry it into our rivers and Lake Michigan.
  • You don’t have to fertilize in the spring. Fall is actually a better time to provide extra nutrients and develop root growth. To learn more about proper fertilization techniques and for application guidelines visithttp://hort.uwex.edu/topics/lawns/.

You may think just one lawn doesn’t matter, but it does. Any positive step you take is magnified by the positive steps that everyone else takes.

For a downloadable PDF file about how to care for a yard while

still protecting our watershed, click on the button above!