About Nutrient Management

Contaminated ground waterIt's about maintaining the productivity of the land while protecting the quality of the environment. The use of commercial fertilizers, compost, manure, or other sources of nutrients to maintain the productivity and quality of the soil is an important part of good stewardship. However, overuse of any type of fertilizer can result in contamination of ground and surface waters. That is why it is important to manage plant nutrients through the judicious use of fertilizers.

Taking care of the environment starts with taking care of where you live. Maintaining a beautiful lawn and garden is certainly part of making your environment aesthetically pleasing, but it is important to remember that what you do may affect more than just your yard. Managing nutrients around your home protects the environment while maintaining the beauty of your landscape.

Tips for Getting Started:
  • Test the soil to determine your nutrient needs
    • Sample lawns, gardens, and landscaping beds separately, as each will have different nutrient requirements
    • Follow the recommendations from the soil tests
  • Buy fertilizers or composts that contain only the nutrients you need
  • Avoid overapplication of fertilizers and compost - learn to calibrate your spreader and calculate your application rate
    • Don't apply within 50 ft. of lakes, rivers, or other water bodies
    • Don't apply within 25 ft. of drainage areas
    • Don't apply just before a big rain
    • Don't rinse spreaders and sprayers into storm drains
    • Don't overwater your lawn to the point of runoff