Sustainable Landscaping

intro to the basics
     
     
1   choose the right plant for the right spot
     
     
2   recycle your yard waste
     
     
3   use fertilizers and pesticides responsibly
     
     
4   water wisely
     
     
5   reduce runoff from your yard and increase groundwater recharge
     
     
6   reduce soil erosion. keep it planted and mulched
     
     
7   pick up after your pets
     
     
8   use and dispose of fuels and hazardous products properly

 


The key to minimizing the potential for pollution is to use them responsibly — at the right time, in the right amount, in the right place and for the right reason.


Before applying fertilizer, test your soil and apply only the amount recommended.

University of Connecticut soil testing lab
University of Massachusetts soil testing lab

Consider slow-release or organic fertilizers.
Improve soil fertility through adjusting soil pH or acidity. For many plants, especially lawns, this involves applying lime to raise the pH. Soil fertility is also improved by increasing soil organic matter through the use of compost and mulching.
View our Healthy Lawn Care Fertilization Guidelines.

Before applying a pesticide, be sure that you have correctly identified the pest or pests.

URI Plant Protection Clinic: (401) 874-2900
Assistance with identification of plant insects and disease

Avoid using pesticides as a routine, preventative measure.
If a pest problem has been correctly identified, determine if uniform treatment is needed or if spot treatment can work.
Determine if there are alternative control options such as mechanical, biological, or cultural methods.

View our Healthy Lawn Care page for more information on pest management and proper application methods.


Alternative White Grub Control

Apply the amount of fertilizer and/or pesticide intended by measuring the treatment area and calibrating your spreader.

Avoid applying fertilizers and pesticides on paved surfaces and near storm drains, surface waters and drinking water wells. Drop spreaders allow for controlled applications.

Always read label directions carefully and store these products in dry, well-ventilated places in their original containers.

Buy only the amount needed and dispose of unused products properly. Give leftovers to a neighbor or contact the RI Eco-Depot for proper disposal options.

View our page - use and dispose of fuels and hazardous products properly.


For more information about responsible fertilizer and pesticide use and alternatives:

View our page on Healthy Lawn Care

View our page on alternative white grub control

View our page on - use and dispose of fuels and hazardous products properly

Healthy Landscapes Demonstration Sites

The URI Master Gardener Hotline: 1 (800) 448-1011

URI Plant Protection Clinic: (401) 874-2900
Assistance with identification of plant insects and disease

University of Connecticut soil testing lab
University of Massachusetts soil testing lab

The Northeastern IPM Center