Yard Care

Chesapeake Yard

A man fertilizing a lawn

Each spring, rain storms wash excess fertilizer off hundreds of thousands of suburban lawns into our streams, rivers and Chesapeake Bay. Once in our waterways, fertilizers designed to make our lawns green fuel the growth of excess algae, which threatens the health of underwater life like oysters and blue crabs.

The good news is that when a lot of us make little changes in the way we take care of our lawns, it makes a big difference. Here's how you can help "Save the Crabs...Then Eat 'Em"!

How to Fertilize for a Healthy Lawn

  • Get a soil test to find out the best type and amount of fertilizer for your yard.
  • Apply it right. Use only the amount of fertilizer you really need. Too much fertilizer will actually weaken your lawn. Keep fertilizer off paved surfaces and don't apply it before it rains. Otherwise, you’ll just be sending the fertilizer—and your money—down the drain.
  • What's the scoop on composting? Compost is not only a good alternative to fertilizer, it’s an excellent soil conditioner. Yards that use compost need less water and fertilizer, so you save money. Plus, you can get one of those cool compost bins.
  • Leave grass clippings on the lawn after mowing. Nitrogen from the clippings will nourish the soil, which means you’ll need less fertilizer.

More Fertilizing Resources