Is there a list of acceptable lawn chemicals to use in proximity to the Bay?

Asked August 4, 2015, 4:43 PM EDT

One of the residents in my community is using this product, Lesco 28-0-3 Lawn Turf Fertilizer, recommended by her landscaper, but wants to be sure it is Bay safe since she lives directly on the water. She is also using Escalade and Solitare herbicides, per her landscaper's instructions.

Anne Arundel County Maryland

1 Response

All land within 1000 feet of a waterway or wetland is designated a "Critical Area". It has special regulations. The 100 feet closest to the water or wetland is the Critical Area Buffer. A free spiral bound book which addresses homeowners questions about these areas "The Green Book for the Bay" is available online.: Page 23 is about fertilizer and chemical use. Each county has slightly different regulations. To learn more about your county, you can get your county's office by calling the Critical Area Commission's general #: 410-260-3460.

Maryland Fertilizer Law specifically says that fertilizer should not be applied within 10 to 15 feet from waterways. It can only be applied at certain times of the year (fall is best anyway), and the amount is strictly measured. Here is a short factsheel that sums up the law for homeowners (it's actually very simple):

The specific chemicals you inquired about can be searched in the Kelly Registration System database, under Maryland, to see if they are approved here. Here is the page for Maryland:
Search the above by product. We do not see Solitare on this approved list (and do not see elsewhere that it is approved for Maryland). Here is information on this herbicide. Look at the Environmental Hazard info:

Although Escalade is listed as approved in Maryland, it is toxic to fish. Here is its label:

All pesticides have hazard info on the label (by law). You can look at labels on the internet.

We all need to put the health of the Bay over the image of the perfect (and unnatural) lawn. This can mean tolerating some weeds--and that's okay.