Home and Garden Tips
Lawn and Garden Care
Rules of Thumb for Water Use on Lawns and Gardens
Know Your Soil
Different soil types have different watering needs. You don't need to be a soil scientist to know how to water your soil properly. These tips can help.
Water at the Right Time of the Day
Rules of Thumb for Proper Fertilizer Use
Fertilizers provide nutrients necessary for plant health and growth, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. These are what N, P, and K stand for on bags of fertilizer. Nitrogen (N) is needed for healthy green growth and regulation of other nutrients. Phosphorus (P) helps proper roots and seeds develop and resist disease. Potassium (K) is also important in root development and disease resistance. When properly applied, the nutrients in fertilizers are absorbed by plants and little of these nutrients enters ground or surface water resources.
Use the Right Fertilizer
Mow Your Lawn Frequently
Leave the grass clippings to decompose on the lawn. Annually, this will provide nutrients equivalent to one or two fertilizer applications. Set mower at 2 inches to reduce water use during hot weather.
Apply Fertilizer Properly
Alternatives to Pesticides and Chemicals
When used incorrectly, pesticides can pollute water. They also kill beneficial as well as harmful insects. Natural alternatives prevent both of these events from occurring and save you money. Consider using natural alternatives for chemical pesticides: Non-detergent insecticidal soaps, garlic, hot pepper sprays, 1 teaspoon of liquid soap in a gallon of water, used dishwater, or forceful stream of water to dislodge insects.
Also consider using plants that naturally repel insects. These plants have their own chemical defense systems, and when planted among flowers and vegetables, they help keep unwanted insects away. The table below contains a partial list of nature's alternatives.