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Clean Water NJ
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In The Garden

picture of gardenYour 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 and pesticides.
  • 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 runoff.

Other links that can help with a more environmentally friend garden

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Copyright State of New Jersey, 1996-2013
Department of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: August 7, 2013

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