Thursday, May 30, 2013
Thursday, May 23, 2013
· Slow-release fertilizers depend on soil microbes to break down the nutrients and this makes the fertilizer last longer in the soil to give plants a steady source of nutrients.
· Slow-release fertilizers are less likely to run off lawns and pollute lakes, rivers, streams, and Puget Sound.
· Slow-release fertilizers are less likely to move down through soils and contaminate groundwater. In Thurston County, we drink groundwater.
· Organic and slow-release fertilizers don’t contain toxic weed or bug killers that other brands may contain. Weed and bug killers destroy the soil microbes that live in healthy soils. Healthy lawns need healthy soils just like other plants do.
How do I find slow-release fertilizers?
To find slow-release fertilizers, look for the terms “slow-acting” or “long-lasting” on labels. Read the fine print – 50% of the nitrogen should be non-soluble in slow-release fertilizers. Most organic fertilizers are slow-release and include aged manure, seed meal, bone meal, poultry and fish by-products. In Thurston County, you can find slow-release fertilizer at local nurseries.
The Grow Smart, Grow Safe is a great resource for choosing lawn and garden products. It ranks hundreds of products to help you find the ones that are least hazardous to people, pets, and the environment.
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Friday, May 10, 2013
Pick up sample bottles at one of six Thurston County locations including one in Yelm, Rainier, Rochester, Tenino, and Olympia at the county courthouse and the public health building on Lilly Road. There are also two locations in Mason County. To find the specific locations and hours visit the County’s How to Collect a Water Sample web page or call (360) 867-2631.
You can pay the $27 testing fee at some of the locations or send a check with the water sample (see the web page for details).
There are specific details about collecting a water sample in the directions that come with the sample bottle. Here are a few hints.
Be sure to keep the bottle sterile. Don’t touch the inside of the bottle or the lid, even if you just washed your hands. You may see moisture or white powder inside the bottle. It is supposed to be there, please don’t rinse it out. Actually, don’t rinse the bottle at all, just fill it as directed.
Plan ahead. The filled sample bottle should be returned the same day you take the sample. You might even want to bring it to us in a cooler. Check your preferred location, to see when samples can be accepted, as many have limited hours. Some testing requires time for any potential germs to grow, so we generally cannot accept samples on Friday.
You should receive test results by mail within a few days of when you submitted the sample. If your sample shows contamination, you will receive a phone call immediately and information on how to proceed with your specific situation.