Colorful California Landscape: A Water-Friendly Garden
Colorful California Landscape:  A Water-Friendly Garden

Fertilizer and Pesticide Alternatives

There are affordable and effective alternatives to fertilizers, pesticides, and common household products.


The nutrient-rich water running off fertilized residental properties poses a significant threat to the health of our ocean.  Primarily composed of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and iron this runoff causes the rapid growth of harmful algae.  Organic fertilizers should be utilized instead of chemicals, because they build the soil, rather than degrade it, which in turns increases porosity and the ability of the landscape to hold more rain water - all of which decreases the chances of run-off.


Pesticides, like other residential flotsam, are swept off our properties during periods of rain and over-irrigation.  These pesticides pose a threat to aquatic life and ground water supplies.  Yet every landscape has pests: unwanted weeds, bugs, and animals.  How you perceive and manage these pests determines, in part, the amount of pesticides swept off your property.  A gardener practicing CPR (Conservation, Permeability, and Retention) may be more lenient with some pests, may seek less toxic alternatives for others, and may change the composition of their landscape to deter particularly destructive and determined pests.

See the Natural Pest Control section of this website for more information regarding beneficial insects.

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Stewardship requires the recognition that we are all caretakers of the environment and economy for the benefit of present and future generations. We must balance the impacts of today's decisions with the needs of future generations. - The Minnesota Round Table on Sustainable Development (1998)