FertilizerUse fertilizers on your lawn and garden sparingly and not immediately before a forecasted rain. Fertilizers can add excess nutrients to waterways. Those excess nutrients in nearby rivers can cause harmful algae to grow that steal oxygen and kill fish. The toxic conditions created by the algae blooms can limit human use and recreational enjoyment of local waters.
If you think your lawn needs fertilizer, have the soil tested first to determine the type of nutrients in your soil and where you really might be deficient. The K-State Soil Testing Lab and K-State Research and Extension provide soil analysis that can better help you care for your lawn.
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- Compost yard waste instead of leaving it to be carried into waterways. The compost can be reapplied to your lawn or garden, saving you money.
- Use fertilizers sparingly and not immediately before a forecasted rain.
- Sweep grass clippings from the street, sidewalk and driveway back into the yard so they don't wash down the storm drains with the next rain.
- Plant native grasses and plants over bare spots in your yard to help retain water.
- Rake leaves in the fall in a timely manner and always dispose of them properly. This will help storm drains from clogging and pollution in stormwater.
PesticidesAvoid the use of pesticides at your home. Pesticides and other lawn chemicals can be carried away with stormwater runoff after a rain. Those pesticides can later harm aquatic organisms in local waterways.
Use some of our lawn care tips to keep your yard healthy without the use of pesticides.
If you must use a pesticide, use it sparingly — only apply where needed. Identify the pest and use the least toxic pesticide that will take care of the problem.
Dispose of unused pesticides properly by contacting Household Hazardous Waste.
Pet WasteKeep your lawn clean by picking up pet waste on a regular basis. If it washes off your lawn during a rain, it could contaminate water in local rivers and waterways. Untreated pet waste can transmit disease to humans and animals because it contains bacteria and parasites. Diarrhea, abdominal pain, cramping, fatigue, fever and rash are a few symptoms caused by untreated pet waste.
Pet waste stations with bags and receptacles are available at many places throughout the community, including city parks and trails. Picking up after your pets can also reduce offensive odors and insect breeding.