Spring Tips

Spring has sprung! Yards are being mowed, and gardens are being readied for planting. While all of these activities are signs of the season, the City of Groveport needs your help in managing the quality of stormwater entering our streams and rivers through the City's municipal storm sewer system.

Fertilizer Application Best Management Practices

The following guidelines should be followed when preparing and handling chemicals:
  • Consider having the soil tested before applying fertilizer in order to determine what nutrients must be added.
  • Avoid application over impervious surfaces. Sweep granular fertilizer back onto the grass to prevent it from washing into the storm sewer system.
  • Apply when sufficient calm, dry weather is in the forecast to prevent drift and wash off. Lawn fertilization programs should begin in fall, not in spring; this will prevent shallow root growth. Tree and shrub fertilization programs should occur in late fall or early spring when the plants are dormant.
  • Do not apply to bare or eroding soil.
  • Do not apply near water systems such as streams, lakes and ponds unless the product is specifically designed for use in shoreline or aquatic environments.
  • Do not apply near wells.
  • Do not over fertilize. Too much nitrogen will cause plants to grow shallow roots creating a less hardy.
  • landscape (e.g. especially bad for athletic fields and parks) that requires more watering. Healthy trees and shrubs do not require annual fertilizing.
  • Consider causes such as poor soils, insects, disease, or current weather patterns before applying fertilizer as a remedy for poor growth.

Fertilizer Alternatives

The following should be considered in lieu of traditional fertilizers.

Organic Fertilizer

Most organic fertilizers release nutrients more slowly and contain lower concentrations of nutrients whereas fast-release fertilizers can leach nutrients into the ground water. Commercial brands can be found at organic garden supply stores and at some farm and feed stores. Organic fertilizers have the additional benefit of recycling waste that would otherwise contribute to landfills and/or pollution.

Grass Clippings

Mulching mowers create fine grass clippings that will break down and add nitrogen and organic matter to the soil. Leave grass clippings on the lawn over the season to provide the equivalent of one regular fertilizer application that will not cause thatch.


Aerating a compacted lawn punches holes in the soil to allow air, water, and nutrients to reach the roots. Leave the small plugs of thatch and soil on your lawn, and they will quickly decompose. The best time to aerate is in the early fall.