Spring Lawn & Landscape Tips

Keep Spring Runoff Clean

As snow melts and spring rains arrive, water runoff funnels from streets and driveways into storms sewers and into lakes, rivers and wetlands. Please do your part to keep our waters clean. Help keep spring runoff clean by:

  • Cleaning gutters regularly - put leaves and twigs in a compost pile or bag with other yard trimmings
  • Directing water from downspouts away from paved surfaces and into lawn
  • Removing pet waste and trash from streets, sidewalks and driveways

Restore Lawns

You can restore your lawn by:

  • Keeping newly seeded areas moist for three or four weeks
  • Removing debris and yard trimmings
  • Reseeding bare spots - if spots were caused by salt, reseed with a salt-tolerant grass mix like Salt Survivor

Keep Lawn Care Products Out of Runoff

While lawn care products can be a helpful tool, it is important to follow appropriate steps to keep these products out of runoff:

  • Always read and follow label directions when using lawn care products and disposing of their containers
  • Don't apply lawn care products to frozen ground; wait until the grass starts growing
  • It is prohibited to spill or spread fertilizer on impervious surfaces (paved areas such as sidewalks, driveways and streets). Spills must be cleaned up immediately; this applies to all fertilizers, regardless of phosphorus content.

Minnesota Fertilizer Law

As of January 1, 2005, fertilizers containing phosphorus cannot be used on lawns in Minnesota. The middle number on a bag of fertilizer should say zero. Exceptions include:

  • Fertilizers containing phosphorus may be used on lawns if a soil test indicates that it is needed.
  • Fertilizers containing phosphorus may be used when establishing a new lawn.

These restrictions do not apply to fertilizers used for agricultural crops, flower and vegetable gardening or on a golf course by trained staff. When applied, phosphorus lawn fertilizer needs to follow rates recommended by the University of Minnesota and approved by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.