You are here

Reduce Lawn Fertilizers

Reduce excess fertilizer on your lawn...and still have a Great-Looking Yard

Excess lawn fertilizers contribute to a massive algal bloom that emerges each summer in the Lafayette, then spreads to the larger Elizabeth River sometimes resulting in fish kills. You can help by reducing fertilizer on your lawn. Follow our tips and we'll help you create healthier soil that doesn't even need fertilizer!

This could keep you and yours healthier as well. Did you know that chemicals used on lawns and gardens are linked to cancer and endocrine disruption, and many are considered unsafe for farm workers.

What You Can Do to Make a Difference:

  • Reduce or eliminate fertilizers on lawns. The typical American applies many times the recommended amount of fertilizer.
  • If you use a lawn care company, print and refer to these questions for your lawn care provider.
  • Download our easy guide to a beautiful but river-friendly lawn.
  • Your lawn may not need fertilizer or it may not need the kind of fertilizer that you are using. Find out with "low impact" soil tests ($10) from A&L, www.aleastern.com. They offer river-friendly advice along with soil test results.
  • If you fertilize, use organic compost instead of chemical fertilizers. Fertilizers act as pollutants once they enter the river. You can either create your own compost or purchase it from a garden supply center.
  • Overseed thin areas in the spring and fall to crowd out weeds. Just rake to expose the soil, spread the seed and cover the 1/4 inch of compost or soil.
  • Mow high. Mowing with your blade set low exposes your lawn to weeds, disease and pests.
  • Go easy. Kill weeds by applying a 10% vinegar solution to unwanted plants. Use mild soap and water as an alternative to more harsh chemical pesticides.
  • If you're not already a River Star Home, sign up to become one!

River-Friendly Lawn Resources:

Tip for starting a home composting system