Skip To Content

Press Release

Earth-Friendly Home Landscapes with Compost: Water Quality Tips for Spring

Release date: 1/31/2012

HealthySoil_OrganicMatter-ClipArt.jpgRunoff from home lawns, gardens and driveways may carry pollutants into storm drains which connect to the Rouge River. Loose soil and mulch are particular concerns during heavy spring rains.

Healthy soil with adequate organic matter in the soil is the first step. Healthy soils encourage healthy plant roots which hold soil in place (see diagram below). Homeowner choices for enhancing organic matter include: mowing leaves into the lawn; adding compost; recycling grass clippings in the lawn and garden; using natural mulches in flower beds; and digging in compost into garden beds. For a short how-to-do-it video, see "Why Not Turn Over a New (Old) Leaf" at

To test your soil for pH, basic nutrients, and organic matter, purchase an MSU soil test box from a participating retailer (April 2 - May 1, 2012). If you are using fertilizer in any quantity, a soil test of the area should be done every three years. For a list of garden centers participating in "Don't Guess...Soil Test!", go to:

To learn more about earth-friendly lawns, sign up for the public seminar sponsored by SOCWA:
Monday, March 19, 2012; 6:45 - 8:00 pm, Bloomfield Township Library. Free!

The basics of mowing, fertilizing and watering with the Rouge River in mind will be covered. E-mail to register or check for the program flyer.

The SOCWA Master Composter course trains citizens to be part of an areawide education program. Classes begin Monday, March 12 at the Bloomfield Township Library. Both experienced and novice gardeners are invited.



Back to Newsroom ...