In The Garden
everyday activities can affect water quality. Help reduce
the amount of pollution that flows into our waterways
by following the tips below.
- Conserve water. Do not over water your lawn. Adjust
sprinklers if water runs into the gutter. Water during
cooler times of the day.
- Identify pests before spraying pesticides. Ask a
specialist at your garden center for advice on how
to treat for that specific pest. Use integrated pest
management (IPM) methods to minimize chemical use
in your garden. Many IPM methods do not even require
the use of chemical pesticides.
- Reduce the amount of grass by planting ground cover.
This reduces the need for fertilizers, herbicides
- Use natural pesticides such as milky spore and nematodes
wherever possible. If you must use chemical pesticides,
use them sparingly and in targeted areas.
- Have your lawn tested at the county Rutgers Cooperative
Research and Extension office to determine if you
need to fertilize. If so, use natural and slow-release
nitrogen fertilizers and make sure to follow the manufacturer’s
directions. Never apply to your lawn or garden if
the weather calls for rain.
- Use a mulching mower instead of bagging grass clippings
to reduce lawn wastes and to reduce the need for fertilizer.
Do not put loose leaves or grass clippings in the
street. Use them in a compost pile as a source for
enriched soil. If you do need to dispose of leaves
or grass clippings, contact your municipality to determine
the appropriate method to dispose these wastes.
- If you must use herbicides, apply them directly
to the weeds rather than broadcasting if possible.
A healthy lawn will reduce weed growth.
- Use mulch on flower beds and gardens to prevent
weeds from growing and to help absorb water.
- Use drought-resistant native plants in gardens and
beds. These plants require less fertilizer and less
water, thereby reducing the amount of potential polluted