Long Islanders love a good lawn.

We really do.

Our Land, Our Water is a campaign devoted to helping Long Islanders create and manage top-notch lawns and landscapes in ways that respect the environment. We bring you state-of-the-art strategies, pro-tips and plant recommendations that make it easy to create and manage a low-input, low-maintenance yard that actually benefits the environment!

Whether you are devoted to golf course perfection or prefer the imperfect, everyone can learn a new trick for a healthy lawn. It’s not rocket science, but there’s a bit of technique needed for success.

What does lawn care have to do with our water?

Did you know Long Island’s drinking water comes from sources underground?

  • Rainwater refreshes those water sources.
  • Rainwater also carries pollutants we put on the ground into the water we drink.

Long Island's Aquifers Explained: Where does Long Island's water come from? (video)

Measurable levels of lawn chemicals are consistently found in Long Island’s municipal wells. 

Pesticides and fertilizers are only two types among many water contaminants consistently found in Long Island's water supply. And although much of Long Island’s drinking water is filtered, it can cost millions of taxpayer dollars to remove chemicals and deliver clean safe water.

We can protect our water by adopting better landscaping techniques.

a sparse bit of turf with weeds

Whether you have brown patches, bare spots or just too many weeds, many lawn problems are fueled by poor environmental conditions with soil, water and sunlight.

plants with yellow flowers

Whether weeds are good or bad depends on your perspective and goals for your lawn.

grub in the palm of a hand

Knowing about lawn insect pests will help you make good pest management decisions.

Lawn Care Basics


Test your Long Island lawn care IQ! 

What is non-point source pollution?

  1. Pesticides, fertilizers and other man-made pollutants washed from developed land into bodies of water by rain or snowmelt.
  2. Wastewater and sewage from homes and businesses washed through a pipe into a waterway.

How much water or rainfall does a typical Long Island lawn need per week?

  1. 2 inches
  2. 3 inches
  3. 1 inch
  4. 4 inches

How often should you sharpen your lawn mower's blade?

  1. Every two weeks
  2. Once a year
  3. After every ten hours of use

What is a white grub?

  1. A caterpillar
  2. A type of fly larva
  3. A young beetle

Ants (not fire ants) in the lawn are:

  1. Bad news - they damage the grass and encourage weeds
  2. Good news - they aerate soil and hunt pests

Which common weed actually feeds your lawn?

Which common weed actually feeds your lawn?

  1. Clover
  2. Dandelion
  3. Broad-leaf plantain

By Law, should your paid landscaper have a license to use weed-and-feed products on your lawn?

  1. No
  2. Yes

What is grasscycling?

  1. Setting the lawn mower to "mulch" and then leaving grass clippings on the lawn
  2. Leaving recycling bins on the lawn for pickup
  3. Riding a bicycle on a turfgrass track or golf course

When are Long Islanders legally allowed to begin to apply fertilizer?

  1. After April first
  2. Any time of year! There's no restriction on fertilizer application.
  3. Between February 15 and December 15
 Jody Gangloff-Kaufmann
Jody Gangloff-Kaufmann

Extension Associate, Senior

NYS Integrated Pest Management

Jody Gangloff-Kaufmann
portrait of Joellen Lampman
Joellen Lampman

Extension Support Specialist

NYS Integrated Pest Management

Joellen Lampman