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Fertilizers, Pesticides, and Your Lawn

By Denise Valenzuela

Posted in

There is a stigma that has been attached to homeowner’s with nice looking lawns. They might be seen as people that don’t care about the environment, when in truth, this is not always the case.

Pesticides are probably the biggest disadvantage to owning a premium lawn. Pesticides can be harmful to all concerned and extreme care must be taken in it’s use. Pesticides are best used in small doses and only as needed. Putting down weed-killer across the entire lawn when only a few weeds live out back isn’t good. Spot treatment of weeds is preferred and if you don’t mind an occasional dandelion, forget weed controls altogether. Crabgrass and other invasive weeds need to be controlled annually before they become a major problem that is expensive and time consuming to correct.

Properly applied fertilizers at the correct rate have little or no excess run-off. The exception is when do-it-yourself homeowners apply too much fertilizer, or fail to clean up hard surface areas where fertilizer pellets may have been inadvertently applied which might result in excess run-off under the right conditions.

Pesticides can be harmful and shouldn’t be taken lightly by homeowners just because they can buy the stuff at the local hardware store. Most insects are beneficial to our ecosystem and pose no threat to our lawns, yet many homeowners will kill-off everything in sight or out of sight just to get rid of the bugs. If not used and stored properly, pesticides can harm you, your children and your pets (even fatally).

Professional lawn care applicators must be licensed by the state to apply pesticides and for good reason. To obtain a license they must have a good working knowledge of these chemicals including all of the precautions associated with them. The rate of application is also important. Homeowners typically over-apply pesticides and the results can be devastating.

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