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Delaware Department of Transportation

Stormwater Management

Landscaping & Gardening

Apply only the recommended amount of fertilizer needed and calibrate the spreader's settings.

  • Never apply fertilizer to frozen ground or when rain has been forecasted.
  • When landscaping, select plants that have low requirements for water, fertilizers, and pesticides.
  • Cultivate plants that discourage pests. Minimize grassed areas which require high maintenance.
  • Preserve existing trees, and plant trees and shrubs to help prevent erosion and promote infiltration of water into the soil.
  • Use landscaping techniques such as grass swales (low areas in the lawn) or porous walkways to increase infiltration and decrease runoff.

    Other landscaping tips:

    • Install wood decking or bricks or interlocking stones instead of impervious cement walkways.
    • Install gravel trenches along driveways or patios to collect water and allow it to filter into the ground.
    • Restore bare patches in your lawn as soon as possible to avoid erosion.
  • Use organic fertilizers such as grass clippings on your lawn so that nutrients in the clippings are recycled and less yard waste goes to landfills. (By leaving grass clippings in the lawn or composting them, you can save up to 25% on fertilizer costs)
  • Compost grass clippings, brush, and other yard waste - never dispose of these materials in a storm drain or local stream. Compost is a valuable soil conditioner which gradually releases nutrients to your lawn and garden. (Using compost will also decrease the amount of fertilizer you need to apply.) In addition, compost retains moisture in the soil and thus helps you conserve water.
  • Wash your car with low phosphate detergents in a grassy area where the water can infiltrate or take it to a commercial car wash.
  • As part of your lawn maintenance, collect your pet waste and dispose of it in the garbage or flush it .
  • If you elect to use a professional lawn care service, select a company that employs trained technicians and follows practices designed to minimize the use of fertilizers and pesticides.
  • Direct downspouts onto the lawn, garden, or landscaped areas.
  • Collect roof runoff in a rain barrel and use the water to irrigate the lawn or garden.
  • If you live along a stream:
    • Allow a vegetated buffer to grow along the stream bank; do not mow to the edge
    • Plant native trees and shrubs along streams to stabilize banks, trap pollutants, and provide stream habitat.

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