Garden & Yard
Prevent Pollution From Garden & Yard Chemicals
Garden and yard chemicals such as pesticides and fertilizers wash off during storm or though excess irrigation water and flow into storm drains, streams, and the Bay, affecting the health of fish, wildlife, and people.
Reduce the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers by adopting holistic approach towards sustainable gardening. Sustainable landscaping practices reduce the use of these chemicals, prevent accidental overwatering, stop stormwater runoff from your yard, conserve water, reduce your water bill and most of all, results into a beautiful yard with healthy plants that is an enjoyable place for you and your family.
Here are some tips for growing your own sustainable garden:
- Create Healthy Soil: Healthy soil, created with mulch and compost, supports healthy plants with fewer pest problems and a greater resistance to drought, temperature, and wind stresses.
- Choose the Right Plant: To minimize the need for chemicals and to reduce maintenance in your garden, choose plants that are best suited to the soil characteristics and sunlight typical of your site.
- Remove invasive and poorly located plants and provide sufficient space for the new plants to reach full size without frequent pruning.
- Water Wisely: Properly irrigated plants are healthier and have fewer insect and disease problems.
- Drip and other smart irrigation methods deliver the appropriate amount of water directly to plant roots without adding to runoff or contributing to unwanted plant growth outside the garden area.
- Group plants according to their water needs. Water use zones prevent over-watering and under-watering
- Select plants adapted to California’s Mediterranean climate. Once these climate-adapted plants are established, they need little or no water in normal rainfall years.
- Use Garden Chemicals Wisely: Integrated pest management (IPM) methods let nature help you maintain your yard. Examples of IPM strategies in the garden include:
- Removing irrigation water and fertilizer from areas where you don’t want weeds to grow.
- Manual removal with tools or smothering weeds with a mulch barrier.
- Planting competitive, desirable plants that make it hard for weeds to grow, or attracting beneficial insects (such as ladybugs) to control insect pests.
- Using less-toxic herbicides, such as herbicidal soaps and vinegars .
- If you absolutely need pesticides, choose the least-toxic product available. Dispose of empty containers properly and recycle unwanted chemicals through Santa Clara County’s Household Hazardous Waste Program. Neverrinse pesticides or other landscape chemicals down the sink or storm drains.
- Slow the Flow of Rainwater: Use your garden to store and clean rainwater before it returns to the creeks, using various techniques, such as pervious pavement, rain gardens, swales, and dry creek beds, to store rainwater in the landscape.
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