Protecting water quality around your home and in your community is important. This segment demonstrates several easy-to-do steps for going green in your lawn care practices. Remember, small changes collectively can make a big difference.

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Healthy Lawn Care Practices

Are you green in your lawn care practices? After you mow the lawn, do you just let all the clippings and leaves blow off into your street and sidewalk? Where do you think those go if you leave those in the street? Well, they end up in our local water supply. The problem with letting debris, such as our grass clippings and leaves wash down the gutters into our storm system, is that they end up in our local lakes and streams.

So if you’re following the Kansas Healthy Yards program, one of the practices you’re going to want to adopt is making sure that any type of debris whether it be leaves, grass clippings, fertilizer pellets, or pesticide pellets that leave your yard and land on the hard surfaces such as walks and drives and the streets, end up back on your lawn.

One of the practices you can do is simple sweeping the drive and the walk after an application of a herbicide or a pesticide or fertilizer, or after a mowing. This helps push everything back onto the turf. The turf acts as a great big giant sponge. So when those materials are applied to the turf, and it rains, they’re going to be soaked in. As apposed to when they land on a hard surface. When it rains, they wash down into a local stream or creek and cause problems. These problems can be associated with algae blooms in the spring on neighborhood ponds. Or they can also be associated with fish kills in more severe cases.

So, it’s always a good practice when you’re done maintaining the lawn, make sure that anything that has not hit the lawn is put back on the lawn either by sweeping or blowing. And if you do that, you’ll be on your way to having a Kansas Healthy Yard.

This feature story prepared with Dennis Patton, Kansas State University Research and Extension Horticulture Agent, Johnson County. For more information, visit your local county extension office or visit our website at

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