There are many natural ways to fertilize a lawn before reaching for a store- bought fertilizer. Compost and grass clippings are a cost-effective and environmentally friendly way to provide your lawn with nutrients. If you feel the need to purchase a fertilizer to care for your lawn, use organic fertilizers or slow release fertilizers.
- Clean Nova Scotia indicates that generally a 4:1:2 (the ratio of nitrogen to phosphorous to potassium) fertilizer applied at rate of 1 kilogram nitrogen per 100 square metres (2 pounds per 1000 square feet) provides the proper balance of nutrients.
- Combine the fertilizer with organic material (a mixture of good-quality soil, sand and a source of humus) and add this to your lawn’s surface. Use a slow release or organic fertilizer before a rain (follow labels). If rain is not expected, water the lawn prior to fertilizing.
- Know your nutrient needs by understanding your soil and lawn conditions (most people apply too much fertilizer and this impacts water quality as well as lawn health).
- Go natural! Forget chemical fertilizers and replace your lawn with native plantings. There are over 1,500 to choose from for our region!
Create Rain Gardens
A rain garden is a landscaping feature you can build to manage runoff. A rain garden will collect rain water and slowly filter water into the ground. They are usually a constructed depression (10-20 cm deep) that are designed to look like a natural area, but it will accept, infiltrate and clean stormwater. The rain garden will typically fill up with a few inches of water after a storm and within 1-2 days, the water will slowly filter into the ground. It is planted with wet and dry tolerant plants to absorb rain water. This technique encourages the recharge of the groundwater aquifer and uses the soil to filter out any pollutants before the infiltrating water reaches the local groundwater table. When combined with a disconnected roof leader (downspout), the stormwater can be conveyed into the rain garden via a vegetated swale creating a high value natural landscape.