Did you know that fertilizers contain nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus, which have a negative impact on the health and water quality of our local streams? Plants can only utilize a certain amount of fertilizer and when these excess chemicals wash into nearby storm drains, they end up in local streams and eventually in the Chesapeake Bay. You should also be mindful of using pesticides and herbicides, which can impact local waterways and harm aquatic life.
Before applying fertilizer, test your soil. You may not need to fertilize! Contact your local extension office for a soil test kit.
There are also a number of sustainable options to keep your yard and garden healthy:
1. Grass clippings: Instead of applying chemical fertilizers, save yourself some time and money by mowing high and leaving your clippings. The lawn clippings break down and become free fertilizer! Just make sure you don't blow the clippings into the street or sidewalks where they can be washed into storm drains.
2. Composting: Keep your leaves and trimmings in a pile and reuse the material as free mulch to enrich your soil and feed your plants.