Lawn Fertilizers & Pesticides

Fertilizers, herbicides, and insecticides pollute our local waterways. Many Wisconsin residents use up to three times more fertilizer on lawns than is necessary.

Try to pull weeds manually whenever possible or spot treat problem areas if using chemical fertilizer. If you must fertilize your entire lawn, follow the summer bookend rule–only fertilize on Memorial Day and Labor Day, using phosphorus-free fertilizers. Minimizing the use of these chemicals ensures the water that reaches our rivers and lakes is clean and safe, but still keeps your lawn healthy and green.

Fertilizers Are More Harm Than Help

While fertilizers and pesticides can provide benefits, they do not come without costs. The costs of using these petroleum-based chemicals all contribute to the pollution of many streams, rivers, ponds, lakes, as well as, coastal areas. These many costs include:

  • Fertilizers can cause algae blooms big enough to make waterways impassable as well as removes oxygen from the water.
  • Fish and other aquatic species cannot survive in these “dead zones.”
  • Fish ingest these chemicals and become diseased. Humans who eat these fish can become ill from the pollution.
  • This pollution can cause species of insects, which are a primary food source for fish and frogs, to decrease in areas where they are needed most.