What You Need to Know About Lawn Fertilizer and When to Apply It

Plainview Water District Urges Residents to be Responsible With Lawn Chemicals and Fertilizers 

Plainview, NY (March 11, 2021)—As part of its Preserve Plainview initiative, the Plainview Water District would like to remind residents about the impacts that premature and excessive lawn fertilizing has on our environment and water supply. The District implores all residents to be mindful of the Nassau County “Fertilizer Law” that prohibits fertilizing prior to April 1 of each year.

“You can have a green lawn without over-fertilizing or fertilizing too early in the season,” said Plainview Water District Chairman Marc Laykind. “To help protect our sole-source aquifer and other local waterways, we ask residents to adhere to Nassau County’s fertilizer law to help support our efforts of environmental protection.”

In accordance with Nassau County’s “Fertilizer Law,” all fertilizers are prohibited from being applied before April 1, 2021 and after November 15, 2021. Residents should always apply the minimum amount of lawn chemicals to the soil and make sure they are stored properly. Additionally, all fertilizers or other lawn chemicals must be kept in cool and dry locations inside of containers that are not prone to leaks. By following instructions listed on the packaging, homeowners can minimize the amount of fertilizer used while at the same time limiting the impact on the environment.

“Our weather is unpredictable this time of year and our region always seems to get an end-of-March snowstorm or cold snap,” said PWD Commissioner Andrew Bader. “Applying fertilizers on frozen ground, or right before the ground refreezes, will take the fertilizers off your lawn and into our waterways. Save your money and our environment by ensuring you fertilize at the right time.”

Organic fertilizers—such as cotton seed meal, bone meal and manure—are other examples of effective alternatives to typical fertilizers that will benefit the environment. Biodegradable insecticides that break down to harmless substances in 2-to-21 days are also another effective yet safe way to treat your lawn.

“Purchasing the right type of fertilizer is as important as when you apply it to your lawn,” added PWD Commissioner Amanda Field. “We want people to remember that the water we drink comes from beneath our feet so the more chemicals and toxins we put on the ground, the more likely they are to leach into our groundwater. Increased nitrogen levels in our groundwater will require advanced and costly treatment systems to ensure our water remains at the highest quality. This is why we urge people to use natural, organic fertilizers over fertilizers packed with harmful chemicals.”