Yard & Lawn Care

Use fertilizer, herbicide and pesticide products sparingly

The chemicals in the runoff from these products are a major cause of non-point source pollution.

  • Follow the instructions, apply only the recommended amount and use only when necessary.
  • Check the weather forecast and related instructions to avoid having to repeat the application.
  • Consider more natural solutions such as pulling weeds by hand or with a tool.
  • Fill in bare dirt areas with grass or mulch to help prevent weeds from returning.

Use native plants that have lower requirements for fertilizers, pesticides and require less maintenance.

Reducing your dependence on fertilizer, herbicide and pesticide products use will decrease nutrient inputs to the watershed and save you money.

Over-use of fertilizers can easily wash off of your lawn and from your garden into storm drains which then flow untreated into creeks and into Clear Lake.  Fertilizers in the lake or creeks can contribute to nuisance algae blooms and aquatic plant growth.

Minimize impervious areas

  • Landscaped areas decrease the amount of runoff from impervious areas by absorbing water.
  • Pave only what is needed on your property, use gravel or permeable surfaces such as turf blocks, interlocking pavers or porous concrete surfacing.
  • Green space also provides a natural pollution filtering system.

Preserve existing drainage patterns

  • If your property has a drainage ditch or swale, do not fill it in.
  • Do not build anything in it and keep it free of debris which may be washed away.
  • If you fill in or obstruct natural drainage patterns, you may cause local flooding and may be held liable for impacts to neighboring properties.

Dispose of yard waste properly

  • Depositing yard waste such as leaves and lawn clippings into streets, storm drains or waterways ultimately ends up in creeks and Clear Lake and is also illegal.
  • Use a mulching leaf vacuum as opposed to a leaf blower.
  • Recycling of yard waste by composting is environmentally responsible. You also will be creating beneficial soil conditioner that will reduce the fertilizer and watering requirements for the plants in your landscape.
  • Composting is free and helps extend the life of limited landfill space.
  • For more information on composting and the proper disposal of yard wastes, contact Lake County Public Services (707) 262-1760 or visit the Public Services web site.

Conserve water

  • Irrigate in the early morning or early evening.
  • Use soaker hoses or drip irrigation versus sprinklers.
  • Use organic mulch around plants.
  • Use native plants that have lower requirements for water.
  • Sweep as opposed to washing down with a hose.