We all love a green, healthy yard with no weeds or harmful insects. Many people achieve this by applying fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides; however, it’s important to apply these chemicals appropriately to avoid pollution to our local waterways.
Fertilizers contain useful nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Nevertheless, improper fertilization can result in excess chemicals in our waterways. When using fertilizer, follow these tips:
Pick a product with appropriate proportions of the nutrients you need for your lawn. It’s helpful to perform a soil test prior to treating your lawn. Visit soiltesting.tamu.edu for information on how to have your soil tested by Texas AgriLife Extension.
Choose slow-release fertilizers to minimize chemical loss.
Read directions carefully and apply the appropriate amount.
Never apply fertilizer prior to a rain event. The fertilizer can flow into the stormwater runoff, not only causing water pollution but also wasting your time and money.
Opt for native plants—these usually require little to no supplemental nutrients.
Lawn aeration reduces soil compaction, thereby improving water and fertilizer uptake. This makes your yard healthier.
Mow frequently and do not bag the clippings or blow them into the street. Leave the grass clippings on your lawn to provide nutrients and enable you to use less fertilizer.
Insecticides, herbicides and fungicides are used to treat unwanted insects and plants; however, these chemicals are unhealthy for our waterways, so please use them wisely and follow these guidelines:
Identify the problem first and look to non-toxic solutions.
Limit and carefully apply any chemicals. Read the labels prior to any application.
Spot-treat if possible. Widespread application of pesticides can kill beneficial insects.
Remove weeds by hand, making sure to remove the root system.
Utilize proper pruning methods to keep plants healthier.
Appropriate storage and disposal of these chemicals is important to the protection of our environment. Never store chemicals outside without cover or shelter. When ready to dispose of chemicals, drop them off at the Dallas County Home Chemical Collection Center, 11234 Plano Road. This service is free to Garland residents. Please note the Garland Recycling Center cannot accept these chemicals.
Dallas County Home Chemical Collection Center 11234 Plano Road Dallas, TX 75243
Hours of Operation: Tuesday: 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Second and fourth Saturday: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.