What is integrated pest management (IPM)?
IPM involves paying attention to your landscape and managing it in a way that provides the best growing conditions for the plants you want. Healthy plants are less susceptible to pests like weeds and harmful organisms. This system is based on sustainable principles such as pest-resistant plants and natural sprays, crop rotation and beneficial insects.
Why be concerned?
Chemical pesticides are poisonous substances, harmful to plants, pets and children, and can pollute creeks, ponds, rivers and groundwater resources.
Controlling garden pests
Download the controlling garden pests guide (PDF) to learn about:
- Keeping plants healthy
- Choosing plants
- Chemical pesticides: A last resort
- Protecting sensitive areas
- The secrets of chemical-free pest control
- Managing gypsy moths
- Natural enemies
- Getting help
Ideas for around the home
Download the ideas around home guide (PDF) to learn about these easy ideas (and more!) for your home:
- Seed bare soil and cover it with mulch as soon as possible
- Keep leaves out of stormwater basins on the street
- Hire services that follow water quality protection standards
- Direct downspouts toward gardens or planted areas and away from driveways
Rethinking yard care
Rethink your gardening by aerating soil, leaving grass clippings on the lawn, composting yard waste and swapping chemical pesticides for natural sprays.
Download the yard care guide (PDF) to learn about:
- The natural process
- Incorporating natural areas in your yard
- Proper application of yard care chemicals
- Tips for a safer lawn
Four tips for a safer lawn
- Test Soil Compaction
- Leave Grass Clippings on the Lawn
- Compost Yard Waste
- Research Fertilizers and Pesticides
Creating a rain barrel
Looking for an easy DIY project that will save you money on gardening? Rain barrels capture water from a roof and hold it for later use such as on lawns, gardens or indoor plants (water from roofs should not be used on vegetables or other things you may consume). Collecting roof runoff in rain barrels reduces the amount of water that flows from your property. It's a great way to conserve water and it's free water for use in your landscape.
Make your own rainwater reservoir with an old barrel! This simple project will not only save you money, but it will also help protect watersheds and improve water quality. Download the guide (PDF) to learn about making a rain barrel and other water-saving tips.
Rain barrels can also qualify your home for a residential stormwater credit!
Landscaping near rivers and streams
Download landscaping near the water's edge guide (PDF) to learn about:
- Using deep-rooted trees and vegetation
- Reducing pollutants and erosion
- Landscaping zones
- Native Michigan plants
- What's “native"?
- Adding vegetation to the banks of water bodies
- Aesthetics and maintenance of water's edge landscaping
Download a list (PDF) of native plants of Michigan and native wetland plants of Michigan.