Bays and Streams Education

In Your Yard

Care For Your Lawn Cautiously

Lawns with trees and shrubs prevent erosion, soak up nutrients before they run off into streams, and improve soil quality by adding organic material. Plant the right grass by testing soil annually. Use the proper fertilizer and do not over-fertilize. Water your yard only when it's dry by soaking the soil to a depth of four to six inches. Call the University of Maryland Home & Garden Information Center at 1-800- 342-2507 for more lawn care suggestions.

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Control Pests Sensibly

A better way to eliminate harmful garden bugs is to encourage helpful bugs and animals. Firewood piles attract termites. Make sure it's stored away from your home. Remove water from old tires to prevent mosquitoes from breeding. Follow pesticide directions carefully and buy only what you need. Do not apply pesticides near water or if rain is forecast. Call MD Dept. of Agriculture (410) 841-5710 for more pest control tips.

Control Soil Erosion and Run-Off

Ninety percent of the rain that falls in Maryland finds its way into the Bay. Rainwater can carry fertilizers and toxic chemicals you use on your yard into the Bay. By keeping rainwater in your yard, you improve water quality, reduce erosion, replenish the ground water supply, and reduce the need for fertilizers. Trees, shrubs and ground cover should be planted as a buffer around your yard and in bare areas to soak up nutrients, to reduce run-off, and reduce soil erosion. Call U of MD Home & Garden Information Center at 1-800-342-2507.

Plant A Tree Or A Shrub

Planting a tree or shrub is one of the easiest ways to help the Chesapeake Bay. Trees and shrubs improve our air quality, provide invaluable habitat for wildlife, and soak up nutrients before they enter the Chesapeake Bay. You can also have a tree planted in memory or in honor of a loved one. For more information or to have a tree planted, call the MD Dept. of Natural Resources, Tree-Mendous (410) 260-8517, Greenshores (410) 974-3776 or the Cooperative Extension Service Home & Garden Information 1-800-342-2507.

Use Car Care Products Wisely

Motor oil, anti-freeze, and battery acid harm the Bay if they flow into storm drains or off paved surfaces into a waterway. Contain these fluids when you change them. To dispose of these materials, contact your local service station or call the MD Environmental Service at 1-800-473-2925.

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