INSECTICIDES, HERBICIDES & FERTILIZERS
Be an Informed User
Overusing insecticides and herbicides can be toxic to your health, local ecosystems, and our waterways. If you aren’t careful, it can kill good insects and healthy soil organisms, weaken plant root systems, and reduce important nutrients like nitrogen & phosphorous. When selecting a pesticide, be as specific as possible. This allows you to target a specific problem while reducing unintentional damage to surrounding plants and animals.
Practice Safe Application
Read the entire label before applying any chemical to your lawn or garden. The label will explain all risks involved with using the product, what personal protective equipment is necessary, and how to safely dispose of excess product and empty containers. How to read a pesticide label (epa.gov/pesticides).
Reduce Environmental Harm
When we overuse chemicals, like insecticides and herbicides, they can pollute our waterways. To prevent damage to water and all wildlife, we must apply any chemical carefully. Always read the label and apply only when conditions are right. Avoid application of chemicals on windy or rainy days and never apply a product near or directly onto water. Remember - stormdrains lead directly to the nearest waterway, so do not dump any chemical products into a stormdrain. Instead, dispose of them according to the product label.
For more information on safe use of insecticides and herbicides, visit the EPA's website: www.epa.gov/pesticides
Your Soil Is Unique
- A soil test will help determine the right amount of fertilizer to apply by testing the soil’s nutrient levels.
- Fertilizer is commonly sold in concentrations of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). Before buying, read the label to ensure that you are buying the correct amounts. Pro tip: Slow release fertilizer offers a controlled release of nitrogen, which can help reduce nutrients leaching into our groundwater.
- Always read and follow label directions.
- Avoid using fertilizer on slopes or near bodies of water. If you must, make sure to leave a buffer zone, like an unfertilized strip of land near water. This will help prevent nutrient runoff.
- Avoid applying fertilizer before heavy rainfall, during winter, and early spring. This could lead to excess runoff.
- Never apply fertilizer directly to lakes or streams.
- Never wash fertilizer onto hard surfaces, like streets or sidewalks.