Apply only the recommended amount of fertilizer needed and
calibrate the spreaders settings.
Never apply fertilizer to frozen ground or when rain has
When landscaping, select plants that have low requirements
for water, fertilizers, and pesticides.
Cultivate plants that discourage pests. Minimize grassed
areas which require high maintenance.
Preserve existing trees, and plant trees and shrubs to help prevent
erosion and promote infiltration of water into the soil.
Use landscaping techniques such as grass swales (low areas
in the lawn) or porous walkways to increase infiltration
and decrease runoff.
Other landscaping tips:
Install wood decking
or bricks or interlocking stones instead of impervious
trenches along driveways or patios to collect water and allow
it to filter into the ground.
Restore bare patches
in your lawn as soon as possible to avoid erosion.
Use organic fertilizers such as grass clippings on your lawn so
that nutrients in the clippings are recycled and less
yard waste goes to landfills. (By leaving grass clippings
in the lawn or composting them, you can save up to 25%
on fertilizer costs)
Compost grass clippings, brush, and other yard waste – never
dispose of these materials in a storm drain or
local stream. Compost is a valuable soil conditioner
which gradually releases nutrients to your lawn and garden.
(Using compost will also decrease the amount of fertilizer you need
to apply.) In addition, compost retains moisture in the soil and
thus helps you conserve water.
Wash your car with low phosphate detergents in a grassy area where the
water can infiltrate or take it to a commercial car
As part of your lawn maintenance, collect your pet waste and dispose of
it in the garbage or flush it .
If you elect to use a professional lawn care service, select a company that
employs trained technicians and follows practices designed
to minimize the use of fertilizers and pesticides.
Direct downspouts onto the lawn, garden, or landscaped areas.
Collect roof runoff in a rain barrel and use the water to irrigate
the lawn or garden.
If you live along a stream:
Allow a vegetated buffer to grow along the stream bank; do not mow
to the edge
Plant native trees and
shrubs along streams to stabilize banks, trap pollutants,
and provide stream habitat.
University of Delaware landscape series