Summer Garden Maintenance

county of san diego watershed protection program



Summer Garden Maintenance

Summer is finally here and that means it’s time to plan your sustainable landscape projects (May 2020 topic) and also get your gardens in shape. We all know that summer activities include eating and drinking and your garden is no different – it likes to eat and drink too! By practicing proper fertilizing, pest management, and watering, your garden will thrive AND play a key role in preventing stormwater pollution which helps to keep our waterways clean.

Fertilizers and pesticides are two pollutants that are easily washed away by rain or irrigation runoff into our storm drain system, which is not treated before it reaches our local waterways and eventually our ocean. Surveys conducted across San Diego County show that more than 50% of residents believe that pollution of our beaches, lakes, and creeks directly affects them and their families.

Fertilizer and Pesticide Use

Here are a few summertime garden ‘eating’ and ‘drinking’ tips that will both nourish your garden AND play a role in guarding against stormwater pollution.

Fertilizer and Pesticide Use

  • Apply according to label’s application rate and only as much as needed. Consider mulching to reduce the need for fertilizers.
  • Spread fertilizer evenly over the ground so that it does not wash away.
  • Apply pesticides when conditions are dry and there is little wind and at least 48 hours before anticipated rain.
  • Sweep/clean up spills immediately.
  • Store in labeled, closed containers, in a manner that protects them from contact with stormwater.

Irrigation Management

  • Repair leaking or broken sprinklers and adjust them so they don’t spray onto streets and sidewalks.
  • Manage the watering schedule by watering in short cycles to allow water to absorb into the soil. Water in the early morning or late evening when it is cooler outside.

For more information on fertilizing, pest and irrigation management, sustainable landscaping, and other ways to manage stormwater pollution, the County has a variety of educational handouts here.

Liquid fertilizer


Find My District


Report Stormwater Pollution
Report observed pollution to the correct jurisdiction.

Citizen Access Portal
Research property information and permits. Apply for some permits online.

GIS Maps
Find property information including zoning designation with our web-based mapping tool. 

Watershed Protection Website

project clean water

Project Clean Water efforts are focused on providing a centralized point of access to water quality information and resources for San Diego County Watersheds. Click HERE to visit Project Clean Water’s website.