Every Lawn Counts!
Warwick homeowners take pride in their lawns and gardens. However, some common lawn care practices can contribute nutrients, such as phosphorus that is found in some lawn fertilizers, into Warwick's waters. By making a few small changes, you can ensure that your lawn care practices will not harm Warwick Pond, Oakland Beach, or your neighborhood's nearby waterbodies.
Set your mower height to 3" or higher. Taller grass will have deeper roots that will help to absorb water and prevent it from becoming runoff. Leave your clippings and mulched leaves behind to add nutrients back to your lawn naturally and help to shade out young weed growth.
Choose a phosphorus free fertilizer to help prevent algae blooms, which are common at Warwick Pond and can lead to beach closures. The contents of your fertilizer are displayed on the bag using the pattern N-P-K. If the center number is zero, you have found a phosphorus-free option. You can also consider organic fertilizers, which tend to contain a lower concentration of nutrients, or finished compost from your own compost pile or Rhode Island Resource Recovery Center.
If you fertilize and irrigate at all, fertilize and water wisely to maximize your effort and money while you protect Warwick's waters. Have your soil tested by UMass Amherst's Soil and Plant Nutrient Testing Laboratory to find out exactly what your soil needs. Use a drop spreader so that any chemicals you use land on your lawn, not the sidewalk. Water once a week to a depth of 1" as opposed to smaller daily waterings, and make sure to turn off your sprinklers if it rains! Finally, you can consider letting your lawn go dormant, or replace areas of your lawn with flowers or shrubbery to reduce your maintenance work and minimize your impact.