Fertilize Smart

Reduce Pollutants

Stormwater runoff can have negative effects on water quality in James City County. Excessive nutrients and sediment are two of the greatest pollutants impacting the Chesapeake Bay. To reduce those pollutants, here is what you can do:

  • Get a Soil Test
    To improve your lawn’s soil, understand what nutrients it has so you can add only what it needs. The results from a soil test provided by Turf Love will help determine the best application method to better your lawn without adding excessive nutrients.
  • Plant More Native Plants
    Adding plants to your yard will help to reduce erosion, filter stormwater runoff and provide food and habitat for wildlife. Native plants are already accustomed to growing in our soils and are adapted to our weather, so they will not require as much artificial fertilizer or unique care.
  • Leave the Clippings
    While mowing your lawn, allow the clippings to remain. As clippings break down, they act as a natural and free fertilizer for your lawn which means less work and less spending for you!
  • Compost Your Lawn
    Apply a quarter inch of compost to your yard during the spring and fall to help build healthy top soil and to feed your lawn. Compost is a less expensive alternative to commercial fertilizer and better for the environment.
  • Spread Fertilizer Carefully
    Use a drop spreader to keep fertilizer off hard surfaces such as roads, sidewalks and driveways. Sweep any that reaches these hard surfaces onto grass or flower beds to prevent it from contaminating storm runoff.

For more help on how to fertilize smart, contact the Turf Love program by visiting the Colonial Soil and Water Conservation District (CSWCD) website.