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Use Lawn Chemicals Wisely

What are common lawn chemicals?

Lawn chemicals are the fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides and insecticides used in lawn and garden care. When lawn chemicals are applied improperly, they run off into streams, harming fish and other animals and contaminating our drinking water.

Reducing lawn chemical use

Fortunately, there are some things that you can do to lessen the effect lawn chemicals have on water quality:

  • Landscape with native plants, grasses and flower species. A native lawn reduces or eliminates the need for lawn chemicals.
  • Test the soil for nutrient deficiencies before using fertilizers.
  • Read labels on lawn chemicals carefully and always apply products sparingly. Using extra product does not provide extra benefit.
  • Allow proper drying time for liquid chemicals, and never use lawn chemicals before a heavy rainfall is expected.
  • Use caution on slopes and lawn edges so fertilizer will not wash into nearby storm sewers or waterways.
  • Consider compost or natural lawn chemical alternatives. Composting creates a natural, slow-release fertilizer and soil-enhancing material.
  • Contact your county extension service for more information on lawn chemical use.

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