Listen to your lawn

Keep Lexington's streams healthy with your lawn care practices. Many streams are contaminated by excess nutrients found in fertilizers and yard waste, but you can help! Leave grass clippings on the lawn, if your lawn needs fertilizer, choose one with no phosphorous, and follow the other tips on this page to keep the environment and your lawn looking good.  


No P on your lawn

  • Choose no phosphorous: Lexington soils are high in phosphorous, so you won't need extra. Choose a fertilizer where the middle number is zero, such as 10-0-10. 
  • Don't guess, soil test: If you would like to test your soil to see if you need fertilizer, you can get a soil test for under $10 from the Fayette County Cooperative Extension Office
  • Fertilize in the fall: Yards only need fertilizer once a year, preferably in the fall. 
  • Follow directions: Do not add more fertilizer than recommended.
  • Rain means drain: Never apply fertilizer or pesticides before it rains.
  • Sweep it up: Sweep fertilizer spilled onto driveways, streets and sidewalks back onto your yard.

Mow better

  • Go natural:  Leave grass clippings. They are a natural fertilizer for your yard.
  • Sweep it up: Sweep grass clippings that spill on your driveway and sidewalk back onto your lawn.
  • Mow high: Mow three inches or higher to make your grass more resilient and healthier.

Water wisely

  • Water infrequently: Water your lawn only when necessary. Water your lawn for a longer time, less often, to promote deeper root growth
  • Do not overwater:  Do not add more water to the lawn than what the soil can absorb at one time. Any water that is not absorbed will run off and be wasted. 
  • Right time of day: Water your lawn around sunrise or in the early morning hours. The leaf blades must dry out fully during the day to reduce disease. Avoid watering during the hottest part of the day because water will be lost to evaporation. Avoid watering at night to prevent mildew and fungus.

Plant natives

  • Establish a buffer zone:  If your property contains a creek or stream, consider creating an area of vegetation between the body of water and the area you mow. Plant by numbers provides templates and plant recommendations for streamside gardens. 
  • Use native plants:  Plants that are native to the area will grow more readily and require less maintenance. Non-native plants can rapidly take over and out-compete other plants.
  • Mulch around plants:  Using mulch around the base of the plants helps retain moisture and can prevent or slow weed growth.