Our local water quality is greatly impacted by the nitrogen loading coming from ground runoff. Here are 5 easy things YOU can do to help:
Reduce fertilizer use:
Test your soil to see how much fertilizer you need. Limit fertilizer use to 1-2 times per year. Try organic slow release water insoluble fertilizer in the fall. Don’t fertilize on windy days or before a rainstorm. Keep fertilizer off the pavement. Avoid fertilizing close to the edge of the yard if you live near the water. Leave grass clippings on the lawn, as these pare perfect natural fertilizers.
Stop Polluted Runoff:
Redirect downspouts away from pavement. Install a rain barrel at downspouts; save the collected water for your garden. Pull weeds by hand rather than spraying with pesticides. Plant a buffer of small plants at the edge of property if you live next to the water. Fix car leaks so oil and antifreeze stay out of the water. Wash cars on grass allowing soapy water to go into the ground, instead of paved driveways (and then the road).
Water only once a week; the rest of the water creates runoff. Water in the morning helps lawns grow healthy roots.
Plan & Grow Native Plants:
Create a rain garden to reduce the size of the yard and to capture runoff in the yard. Fill the garden with native plants and shrubs and it will attract beneficial birds, butterflies, and honeybees.
Clean up after your pet:
Remove dog waste in your yard and neighborhood. Dog waste can lead to bacterial contamination and nitrogen pollution in our waterways.
Many thanks to the Buzzards Bay Coalition for these tips!