Tips for Lawn & Garden Stormwater Health

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DIY Opportunities

Your yard can look beautiful, and protect our water quality!

  • Rain Garden - check out this how-to on creating beautiful and functional flower gardens to assist in rain absorption!
  • Low Maintenance Landscaping - sick of mowing that lawn? Here's a great way to incorporate more flora into your yard and reduce your mowing time.
  • Fertilizer Application - it takes less fertilizer than most realize to correctly fertilize your plants. Read this informational pamphlet and learn about how much is just right for your lawn!
  • Lawn Watering - a yellowing lawn might not be appealing to most, but either are high water bills! Learn about how you can keep healthy lawns and healthy pockets.

Leaves & Grass

Compost BagsKeep clippings off streets and sidewalks. When you mow, prune, or weed wack, make sure to clean up. Bagging your yard waste for curbside pick-up, mulching yard waste for use in landscaping, or composting yard waste, are great ways to recycle it and keep it away from streets. Leaves and grass feed algae growth (and smell) in lakes and streams. Make sure your yard clippings do not end up on the street. City residents can have their yard waste collected as a free service from waste management. Call (763) 325-6000 and ask for a recycling cart. Reminder: City ordinance states yard clippings can not go onto streets, and residents can be cited for doing so.


MulchWhen gardening or resodding, keep the soil in place. Prevent erosion by using mulch, straw, ground cover plants, berms, or other barriers, especially near impervious surfaces such as sidewalks and driveways. Covering temporary piles of dirt, and putting straw or mulch over gardens and newly seeded areas will also slow erosion and protect new plants.

Fertilizers, Herbicides, Pesticides

Fertilizer sense diagramIf you must use fertilizer, choose a slow-release fertilizer, and be sure to not over use. Lightly, water in your fertilizer, to make sure it soaks in and doesn’t wash out with the next rain fall. If using pesticides and herbicides, remember these chemicals can alter the ecological balance of wetlands. For instance, certain pesticides eliminate important micro organisms that control algae growth. Choose carefully to ensure your products do not harm water quality and aquatic health. Keep all fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides off paved surfaces and out of drainage paths. Use minimal amounts, do not apply before or during a rain event, and follow all label instructions. Reminder: Since January, 2005, use of phosphorus fertilizers is illegal in Minnesota.


Use rain gardens, or naturalize areas in your yard. Keep a vegetative buffer at lake shores and streams to prevent land loss and sedimentation. Even on gentle slopes, water from rain and snow can remove large amounts of soil and carry it to wetlands, lakes, and streams. Native plants are a great way to stabilize soils and create beneficial impacts on our environment.


Have a Sprinkling System? Spend Less Money on Watering!

Reminder: City Ordinance regulates sprinkling system use to reduce water waste and strain on our stormwater system. Remember to not deliberately allow your sprinkling or irrigation system to run into streets or drains. Sprinkling system use is permitted May 1-August 31st, on odd/even days (dependent on if address is odd or even). Watering is prohibited between NOON and 6:00 PM.

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