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Lawn Care Blog

When DIY Lawn Care Turns BAD For The Environment

Safe Lawn CareMost of us have seen the recent news in Ohio regarding dangerous algae blooms in the western part of Lake Erie. Most environmentalists agree that the algae blooms are being caused by several factors, including farm field runoff that carries farm nutrients and waste into the lake. Often, lumped in with these common problems to this growing threat is fertilizer from lawn care practices. Surprisingly the threat is NOT coming from lawn care companies, but instead from homeowners doing it themselves. In this article, we'll discuss why.

Fertilizer Choices

The typical routine for most homeowners that fertilize their own lawn is to run out to the big box home improvement store and buy the fertilizer that is readily available. Some choose by brand name, while others choose by price. Regardless of that choice, both options are wrong for the environment. "Fertilizer should always be chosen based on the needs of your lawn and soil composition," says Rob Palmer, Owner of Weed Pro Lawn Care. "Often, store brands contain too much phosphorus that your lawn simply does not need." Palmer added that "excess phosphorus is a contributing factor to run-off water pollution." That's why most lawn care professionals use fertilizer with little to no phosphorus based upon the specific needs of the lawn. 

Application Rates

Another way that DIY lawn care can turn dangerous for the environment is improper application methods. Fertilizer should be applied to lawns using correct application rates that are safe for people, pets and the environment. Too much lawn product can not only lead to problems in your lawn, but can pollute natural waterways by running off your lawn and into your storm drains. The fact is that your lawn can only absorb so many nutrients before is simply cannot take any more. Fertilizer manufactures provide you with proper application rates. If not sure about application rates, DIY'ers should always seek advice from a professional.

Disposal & Storage of Products

So what do you do with excess fertilizer that you don't need anymore? Some store it in there garage until the next season, while others simply discard of the product. Both scenarios here carry serious risk for the environment and the health of your family.

Storing fertilizer in your garage can be dangerous for the safety of pets. Not from toxicity, but instead from choking hazards. Fertilizer tends to "clump" together and could choke pets and children. Additionally, flooding or the fertilizer spilling could  cause pollution concerns as well. Discarding fertilizer improperly is just plain dumb. A serious offense, you could face fines from the local government for polluting the environment. It's always best to seek advice for proper storage and disposal of fertilizer from the EPA

What Can You Do To Lessen Your Impact?

There are a few ways that you can get a great looking lawn with fertilizer and not worry about polluting the environment. 

  1. Hire a Licensed & Certified Lawn Care Company to apply fertilizer on your lawn.
  2. Design a well-balanced lawn care program that delivers nuturients to your lawn safely.
  3. Seek advice from a lawn care professional, or a Agricultural Technical Institute (such as Ohio State ATI - Okay, all together: OH - IO!!)

Expand Your Lawn Care Knowledge With Weed Pro's Mobile Application!

Environmental impact is just one of the many things to keep in mind when taking care of your lawn. Additionally, proper weed removal, lawn fungus and treatments are just a few of the other lawn care issues you may encounter while caring for your lawn. Keeping things straight can be a daunting task for even the most trained lawn care professional. That's why we've developed the Weed Pro Mobile app that has everything you need to know to take care of your lawn! Best part is that it's free in both the Google Play and iTunes store. Click the button below and we'll provide you the links to both applications, and a handy-dandy users guide!

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Shaun Kanary 
has been a part of the Green Industry for the past 15 years. As the Director of Marketing for Weed Pro Lawn Care, a Cleveland and Columbus Lawn Care Service Provider, Shaun is a regular contributor to the Weed Pro Blog, and other industry magazine and blogs. 

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