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A Virginian’s Year-Round Guide To Yard Care

Tips and Techniques for Healthy Lawns and Gardens

This project was funded by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Chesapeake Bay Program and the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). Find more info at:

Green lawns, tall trees, bright flowers—Virginians love the outdoors, even when it’s just the backyard. The way you maintain your yard, however, can have surprising impacts on the natural world.

You probably know that pesticides and herbicides are powerful chemicals that can injure wildlife if overused. But, did you know that over-fertilization and erosion are major threats to Virginia waterways and wildlife?

Carried with rainwater into lakes, rivers or the Chesapeake Bay, nitrogen from fertilizer feeds toxic algae to create dead zones where nothing else can survive. Sediment from erosion clouds waterways, preventing the growth of aquatic grasses—the base of the food chain for many fish and waterfowl.

The good news is that you can help protect Virginia’s waterways and wildlife and still enjoy a vibrant, healthy yard. This guide will help. Arranged in a convenient seasonal format, it will help you decide what to plant and when to fertilize; it will help you restore ailing plants and enrich your soil. Many of the steps outlined in the guide will save you both time and money, making it even easier to enjoy your lawn or garden.

Download & Enjoy!

DCR Yard Care Guide
Download PDF • 7.32MB


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