|Photo above of
Nippersink Creek in Glacial Park provided
courtesy of Ray Mathis
|Think Twice When
Fertilizing Your Lawn Each Fall
|Everyone lives in a watershed whether you
live close to a body of water or not. A
watershed is the surrounding land that drains
into a lake, stream, or river. It includes
drainage systems such as ditches and storm
sewers, which means you have a direct effect on
In the fall, many homeowners realize it is time
to fertilize their lawns. The grass has endured
the summer stresses and the cool temperatures
provide the perfect opportunity for recovery.
The benefits of fall fertilization include a
healthier turf before winter along with a
healthier root system.
Before you fertilize however, think responsibly.
Phosphates are a major source of pollution in
lakes and streams, and high phosphate levels
support over-production of algae and water
weeds. Phosphorous comes from many sources such
as leaves, lawn clippings, animal waste, and it
is in most lawn fertilizers.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has
some wonderful videos and publications on
Healthy Lawn Care Practices at the following
website that you can use to reduce the amount of
runoff pollutants in your watershed.
|The McHenry-Lake County Soil & Water
Conservation District has established a soil
fertility testing program, that enables
landowners to collect and submit soil samples
for fertility analysis, for the low price of
only $20 per sample. More information can be