The way we manage our yards and gardens can have a significant effect on our environment. You can have a beautiful, healthy yard that is also environmentally friendly.
Minnesota is home to a variety of native plants that provide a low maintenance and beautiful landscape while eliminating the need for fertilizers and excessive water use in your garden.
Learn more about Native Landscaping
Runoff from storm water enters the city's lakes and ponds through the storm sewer system. This runoff can have a negative impact on water quality because of phosphorus and other nutrients in the water. A source of these nutrients can be lawn fertilization. Phosphorus and other nutrients increase the growth of algae and aquatic plants, causing a reduction in water clarity and quality in our lakes and wetlands.
Most soil in Woodbury (and throughout Minnesota) is naturally high in phosphorus and can grow healthy lawns without the addition of phosphorus fertilizers. For this reason, fertilizers containing phosphorus cannot be sold for typical lawn application in Minnesota. On all bags of fertilizer, there are three numbers. The middle number indicates phosphorus content and should read "0" on any fertilizer purchased for typical lawn fertilization needs.
Other things residents can do to help prevent the decline of water quality:
- Get a soil test to determine what, if any, fertilizer application is necessary for your lawn.
- Keep fertilizer off hard surfaces such as driveways or streets.
- Do not fertilize areas adjacent to lakes or ponds.
- Prevent grass clippings from going into the street and storm sewer system.
Fertilizers containing phosphorus may be used on a lawn if a soil test indicates it is necessary or when establishing a new lawn. For more information about soil testing, visit the University of Minnesota's Soil Testing Laboratory website.
The Minnesota State Plumbing Code requires that a backflow preventer be installed on each lawn irrigation system. This is to prevent lawn fertilizers, weed killers and other contaminants from being drawn back into the drinking water system.
A licensed plumber or the property owner must install the backflow preventer. A plumbing permit is required prior to installation. Testing of the backflow device is required at time of installation and annually thereafter.
Rain Barrels and Compost Bins
Each spring, the Recycling Association of Minnesota (RAM) partners with local governments, soil and watershed districts, non-profits and other organizations to provide quality rain barrels and compost bins made from recycled materials at low cost to Minnesota residents.
Learn more and purchase your rain barrel and/or compost bin at the RAM website.