Home and garden pesticides and fertilizers are contaminating California creeks, rivers, and oceans. Garden chemicals cause pollution when people dump them down drains or when they are washed into gutters, drains and creeks by rain, garden watering, or hosing down sidewalks. Here’s what YOU can do to help.
1.) Avoid Using Pesticides. Be sure you have identified a specific pest problem before applying any pesticide. If treatment is necessary, use non-chemical methods or least toxic pesticides where ever possible.
2.) Keep Fertilizer and Pesticides off of Hard Surfaces. For example like sidewalks or driveways. Sweep any material that accidentally gets on hard surfaces back onto lawns.
3.) Don’t Over Use Fertilizer. More is not better. Actively growing turf, flowering shrubs, some annuals and fruit trees require regular fertilization but ornamental trees do not. Use slow-release fertilizers and be sure to measure and apply them according to label directions.
4.) Avoid Using Pyrethroid Insecticides. This controls the ants. Manage ants by reducing food sources, excluding them from homes and using baits in containers.
5.) Use a mulching mower. Using this mower recycles your lawn clippings and reduces your lawn’s requirement for fertilizer.
6.) Dispose of Garden Chemicals Properly. Never sweep, hose off, or pour leftover pesticides or fertilizers into drains or gutters. Dispose of unused products at your local hazardous waste site.
7.) Manage your Watering System. Do this so water does no run off your landscape onto hard surfaces and into gutters.
8.) Reduce Runoff. Reduce by using mulches in beds and permeable materials for walkways and driveways. Aerate and add organic matter such as compost o heavy or compacted soils. Install terraces or other features on slopes to keep water on site.
9.) Install Equipment. For example drip irrigation, soaker hoses, “smart” irrigation controllers, and rotor heads that improve watering efficiently and distribution.
10.) Choose Water Efficient Plants & Garden Designs. Be creative about reducing your landscape’s need for water.
And thank you for making me Your Orange County Real Estate Connection.
Michael Caruso, Broker ABR ABRM CLHMS CRB CRS GREEN GRI
Past President, Orange County Association of Realtors (949) 753-7900