Yard and Garden Care

Practice natural yard care to reduce the use of hazardous products while saving time, water, money, and helping to preserve the environment. Here are some changes you can make in how you care for your yard that is healthier for our environment:

  • Instead of cleaning walkways with a hose, sweep up grass clippings, leaves, twigs and put them into a yard waste container or compost pile. Sweep up dirt and put it back into the garden. This way, you won't accidentally wash debris into a storm drain or waterway, and you'll save water.
  • Choose native plants and trees that resist pests and disease. Certain flowering cherry trees are resistant to brown rot. Some roses are resistant to aphids and mildew. Certain rhododendrons are resistant to root weevils and are drought tolerant. Nurseries can help you in making choices.
  • Avoid using weed and feed products. Applying this product to your entire lawn is overkill for weed control. Pull weeds by hand or with tools. If you decide to use a weed killer, wear gloves, spot spray just the weed, and spray when it isn't windy or when rain isn't predicted. Never use pesticides, fertilizers, or herbicides near streams, lakes, or wetlands.
  • Avoid using Diazinon, often used to treat crane flies in lawns. This pesticide has also been found in our streams, and the Environmental Protection Agency is phasing it out because of the potential health risk to children.
  • If you have an irrigation system, make sure it is in good working order and limit its use to actual watering needs.
  • Collect stormwater runoff from your roof in closed rain barrels and use it for yard and garden watering.
  • Retain a native vegetated buffer along stream, lake or wetlands to prevent erosion, provide treatment, and help stop heavy rain sheet flow.

RESOURCES

Natural Yard Care – Five steps to natural yard care, workshops and events.

Northwest Native Plant Guide – A guide to creating your own native plant landscape.

Noxious Weeds in King County – Weed identification guide and resources for noxious weed control.

The Garden Hotline – Offers individualized solutions to garden problems that are practical, safe, effective and natural. Services are FREE to home gardeners and landscape professionals throughout King County.

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