Fertilize and Use Pesticides Wisely

Good mulchReducing your fertilizer use will decrease nutrient inputs to our waters and save you money. You can reduce your need for chemical fertilizers by practicing “grasscycling.” Instead of blowing or sweeping grass clippings down the street, spread them over your lawn to return nutrients to the soil. Nutrients trapped in organic matter, like grass clippings, leaves, and other organic material can be re-released as pollutants when organic debris enters canals, and lakes. Clippings and leaves can also clog storm drains and culverts and create flooding.

Florida’s climate attracts pests that thrive in our warm, humid weather. Nobody likes pests, but using pesticides doesn’t always solve the problem. In fact, pesticides can make the situation worse when they are used incorrectly. The practice of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is an environmentally-friendly approach to pest control. IPM uses a combination of natural resources and pesticides to solve pest problems. Using IPM, you may be able to use beneficial insects, such as lady beetles, to attack the ones destroying your plants. Non-toxic horticultural oils are another safe alternative to pesticides. Using pest-resistant plant varieties, like many natives, can also help keep your vegetation healthy.

Sometimes, despite our best efforts, the use of fertilizer or pesticides is unavoidable. When you do use chemicals to treat your lawn and landscaping, follow the product directions carefully. Have your soil tested by Broward County Extension Education and ask for recommendations on the best time of day and amount of fertilizer to apply for your landscaping needs.

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