Eco-City Alexandria: Get Involved!
Tips to Save Money and Protect the Chesapeake Bay
Yard Maintenance Can Impact Water Quality
Proper lawn and garden care is an essential part of protecting our local water quality and the health of the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay. Fertilizer contains nutrients that may contribute to algal blooms that kill fish and reduce the productive habitat in the Chesapeake Bay and local tributaries. Plants can only use a certain percentage of applied fertilizer. Excess fertilizer and fertilizer spread on hard surfaces may pollute water resources. Not only that, it’s like throwing money away!
The point is, all these nutrients end up in our local streams and the Chesapeake Bay and may contribute to algal blooms that harm aquatic life by depleting oxygen and creating dead zones. This can mean no crabs, fish or oysters, and equals no fun!
Here’s what we can all do to keep your wallet and the crabs happy:
- Test soil before fertilizing with a kit from the Virginia Cooperative Extension – know how much and what kind is needed (if any)
- Don’t fertilize if rain is forecasted – it’s like throwing money away
- Use fertilizers with low or no phosphorus – most lawns don’t need it
- Read and follow instructions on the label – biggest bang for the buck
- Avoid spreading fertilizer on concrete or paved areas, like sidewalks and driveways, and sweep any excess onto grass
Visit www.alexandriava.gov/Stormwater for more ideas on how you can help protect our local streams, the Potomac River, and the Chesapeake Bay.