Fertilizing Your Lawn? Not Between December 1st & April 1st in New York State
This weekend, I heard a sound outside my home that at first, I couldn't place. Then it hit me, someone was mowing their lawn. I'm thinking, why is one of my neighbors mowing his grass in the middle of November? I stopped mowing my grass in mid-October.
Well, he was just mowing the area between the sidewalk and the street. It was then that I looked at the area between the sidewalk and the street, and it was looking pretty bad. I think the last time I mowed that area was in September. So, I pulled out the lawnmower one last time and cut the grass down to a respectable look.
As for my backyard, I decided to let it go for the season. The leaves on my tree have pretty much covered up what little backyard I have anyway, so I stored the lawnmower away for the season. Looking at my backyard, I have a lot of weeds and ugly vines that need to go. I have been thinking about using some sort of product to get rid of it all.
While researching lawn care, I learned something that I didn't know. I saw recently a report from My Twin Tiers (WETM-TV) about a cutoff date for fertilizing lawns in New York State. Not that I plan to fertilize my lawn anytime soon, apparently there is a law limiting the dates you can use fertilizers.
So, I checked the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and sure enough, in New York State, you are not allowed to fertilize your lawn between December 1st and April 1st. The main reason is to prevent phosphorus from entering New York State waters.
"Even if you live far from a water body, excess phosphorus from your lawn can wash off and pollute lakes and streams, harming fish and ruining boating and swimming." - NYS DEC
Penalties for breaking this law begin with a written notice and then begin to hit your wallet. For specific rules and local rules on fertilizers, including what is safe to use, visit the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.