Lawn Care and Product Management

When lawn care products are applied at the proper rates and timed so they do not rapidly run-off or infiltrate the soil, they pose a relatively minor threat to groundwater. On the other hand, excessive use or poor application timing can result in these products contaminating groundwater. Everyone needs to do their part by following recommended rates and guidelines for using lawn care products to help protect our community drinking water supply. 

Protecting Groundwater

Fertilizers and lawn care chemicals can impact groundwater and drinking water sources. Managing your lawn care routine can prevent them from becoming a threat to our waters. See below for a few hips on how to protect water quality:

  • Test your soil to determine the correct mix of fertilizer needed for your lawn. Instructions on soil testing are available through the University of Minnesota Extension.
  • Read all chemical labels – the middle number indicates the phosphorus content and should read “0”.
  • Fill fertilizer spreaders and chemicals in areas that can be properly cleaned up. Keep away from streets and storm drains.
  • Sweep up leaves and lawn clippings to keep them out of the street, gutters and ditches.
  • Wait until grass is actively growing before applying fertilizers.
  • Mow your grass to a height of two and a half to three inches.  
  • Do not apply fertilizers to frozen ground or when inclement weather is in the forecast.

Additional Resources

Lawn Care - Sweeping leaves from gutters
Lawn Care - Fertilizing