Fertilizer applied to a healthy lawn at recommended rates will not pose a threat to water quality. In fact, a healthy lawn will benefit from annual fertilizer treatments that encourage dense growth and increased resistance to pests and drought. Thick, healthy lawns absorb rain water runoff and help keep soil and other pollutants from reaching storm drains, local streams and other pathways to the bay. A lawn care service is a popular alternative for busy homeowners who want someone else to care for the lawn. However, the wide array of services offered by lawn care companies and landscapers can be overwhelming. As an educated consumer, you want to choose a lawn care service that embraces environmentally sound management practices. A little comparison shopping before signing on the dotted line will go a long way toward that end. Here are some important guidelines to follow to ensure both an attractive lawn and a healthy environment.
Narrow the Field by using the below Consumer Protection Tips:
- Call several firms and ask to have information on their fertilizer and pest control programs for lawns sent to you.
- Ask your neighbors.Satisfied customers are the best indicator of a good company, especially if your neighbor has maintained a relationship with them for a long time. Get a few estimates.
- Make sure that all companies are bidding on similar service.
- Don’t be afraid to ask only for the services you want. Get in writing what services are included and what is optional.
- Don’t let cost be the sole determining factor. High quality fertilizer, seed and pest control products will inevitably cost more, but in the long run are worth the added investment.
- Be sure the company visits your property to accurately measure the property. Cost is usually based on the size of the property. This measurement is also needed to ensure that fertilizer and pesticide applications are applied at the proper rate.
- Ask if the service is automatically renewed each year. Are there penalties to cancel your service agreement.
- Do your homework. Make sure the firm and its personnel are licensed and certified by the Maryland Department of Agriculture. Call 410-841-5710 or visit www.mda.state.md.us to search a database of licensed companies with certified pesticide applicators.
The preceding is an excerpt from a brochure entitled “How to Choose a Lawn Care Service That’s Right for You… and the Chesapeake Bay” that is published by the Maryland Department of Agriculture in cooperation with University of Maryland Extension, NOAA, and Maryland’s Tributary Teams.
If you would like an original copy, Contact MRW Lawns, Inc., 5440 Washington Ave., LaPlata, Md. 20646, 301-870-3411.
We will be happy to mail you an original as long as supplies last. Or, follow this link for a downloadable printable copy.