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Town News

Posted on: September 10, 2020

Green Grass and Clear Water

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Many of us value having nice lawns and enjoy the time we spend working on them. However, some lawn care practices can create water quality problems. Plants need nutrients to grow, but excess nutrients, including the nitrogen and phosphorus found in fertilizers, can run off our properties when it rains and cause problems in local waterbodies. Too many nutrients in our water can trigger algal blooms that cloud water and rob it of oxygen.

Here are some easy practices for creating and maintaining a truly healthy lawn that looks great and is safer for the environment!

• Test your soil! Only apply fertilizer when necessary.

• Apply fertilizer sparingly and ensure proper fertilizer application rates.

• Apply fertilizers in the spring and early fall when grass is vigorously growing.

• Select fertilizers with low or no phosphorus unless a soil test indicates otherwise.

• Apply organic fertilizers if possible.

• Choose slow release fertilizers when possible.

• Try not to apply fertilizers near waterbodies.

• Don’t overwater. Typically, 1-inch of water per week applied over 1 or 2 days is enough.

• Mow grass no shorter than 3" high.

• Cut grass often enough so you never remove more than 1/3 of the blade at a time.

• Leave the clippings after mowing so they can return nutrients to the soil.

Using these water-quality friendly lawn care and fertilizer recommendations is a small change that can make a big difference.

Learn more about Protecting Water Quality and MS4
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