Thurston County Connection Newsletter
Thurston County Connection
Thurston County Connection
December, 2014
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This Month's Articles

Changes at Thurston County Superior Court

(More) Changes at Thurston County Superior Court

County Benefits from “JBLM Day of Service”

It’s official!

Health Systems Doing a Good Job of Tracking Illnesses

Families Welcome New Members

Perfection is Reality for County Waste Water Treatment Plant

Less Leftovers, More Joy

The Klondike Kings and the telegraph to nowhere

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 Perplexed by Weed and Pest Control?

Steps for an environmentally friendly yard.

The sheer variety of lawn and garden products can seem overwhelming, but the new Grow Smart, Grow Safe guide is available to help you find the option that matches your needs. The guide rates 600 pesticides, fertilizers, and soil amendments for their health and environmental hazards. Results are organized in easy-to-use categories that help you find lawn and garden products least hazardous to your pets and loved ones, wildlife, lakes, streams and ground water. It also offers tips from regional experts on simple ways to reduce weed and pest problems and safely grow a productive, healthy garden.

Fertilizing Tips

Fertilizer can provide plants with necessary nutrients that are low or missing from the soil. Nutrients from slow-release fertilizers are available to plants throughout the growing season. In quick-green and other types of fertilizer, many of the nutrients wash away in our abundant rain. This not only wastes the fertilizer and the effort it took to apply, it can also cause water pollution problems. The excess nitrogen and phosphorus can run-off and get into lakes, streams and Puget Sound. Excess nitrogen in the soil can also leach past the root zone and enter ground water, leading to high nitrates in our drinking water. If weed or insect killers were included in the fertilizer, these can harm our waterways as well as increase the risk for children and pets.

The good news is that slow-release and organic fertilizers are more widely available than in the past. Ask at your favorite store. A close look at the fine print on the fertilizer label can help you choose. In slow-release fertilizer the amount of water insoluble nitrogen should be at least half of the amount of total nitrogen. Avoid fertilizers mixed with weed or insect killers. A new Fertilizer Common Sense Gardening guide goes into greater detail on choosing and using fertilizers.

Grow Smart, Grow Safe, the new Fertilizer Common Sense Gardening Guide, and other gardening and pest control guides are available from the Thurston County Common Sense Gardening program, 360-867-2674 or on the web at Common Sense Gardening. Click on the guides and resources link. Presentations can also be arranged for your group.

By Jane MtJoy Venning

An environmentally friendly and green yard! An environmentally friendly and green yard!