Fertilizers help your garden and lawn grow, but nutrients commonly found in those compounds — like nitrogen and phosphorus — can harm our waterways.
When it rains, fertilizer that hasn’t been absorbed by your plants is washed into rivers and streams. This can cause excessive algae and aquatic weed growth, reducing oxygen in the water and harming fish and aquatic wildlife.
Follow these tips to protect our waterways, wildlife, and environment:
- Fertilize lawns in the fall to prevent nutrients from washing away during spring rains.
- Don’t overapply fertilizer. Before fertilizing at all, measure existing nutrient levels with a soil test.
- If the phosphorus levels in your soil are adequate, select a phosphorus-free fertilizer.
- Select slow-release and organic fertilizers that are less likely to wash away.
For more tips, please visit our Help Manage Stormwater website.