The simple money-saving step of refraining from fertilizing your yard with lawn fertilizer helps to restore finfish and shellfish populations, improve swimming conditions, and improve the overall health of the bay. Here are some ideas and resources to think about in keeping a bay-friendly yard.
1. Clear your spaces. Get rid of the old bag of fertilizer in the garage!
2. Defy the temptation to repeat old habits. People are used to seeing neighborhoods with lawns. It’s different now. Instead of mowing your lawn….Go to the beach or bay!
3. Take our Tip Card (coming soon) to the store to make smart choices. It should be simple. Life has become so complicated and people want to make the right choices they just need some help.
4. Erase your fear of an ugly yard or brown lawn. You can still have a lawn and it can be green and beautiful. Re-use your clippings as natural lawn food!
5. Change Your Self Talk. It’s hard to change the way we think. “It’s too expensive…..its too hard, it doesn’t look pretty.” Actually, having a bay friendly yard is beautiful, smart and inexpensive!
6. Learn to Indulge. You don’t have to be a saint and have 100% bay friendly yard. Keep your favorite non-native plant while still enjoying a fertilizer free yard!
7. Understand Your Goals. Set your own pace. You don’t need to do everything this season. Everybody has a different pace. Know what you want to accomplish and when. Try one step this season.
8. You are still making a difference! You made one change and now you are stuck. Progress is not perfect. You are not alone. Your neighbors are probably in the same situation. If everybody takes one step…we will really make a difference.
Native plants are a great alternative to reduce the size of a lawn. Native plants – the beautiful plants originating from our region – can substitute for lawn space. They stay healthy without fertilizing and watering and can potentially divide your yard into enjoyable, beautiful sections. The deep roots of native plants help by removing nitrogen from the groundwater before it can reach the bay to become algae food. Click here for a pdf copy of the Going Native Guide.