Want to fight pollution and help clean up our watershed?
Find out just how much fertilizer and lime your lawn actually needs by participating in the Loudoun County Master Gardener’s Grass Roots Program.
Nitrogen and phosphorus pollute our rivers and streams. They are normal ingredients in most commercial lawn fertilizers, but when applied in excess, they runoff or leach into nearby streams and rivers. Algae, whose growth is usually limited by nitrogen availability, use this flood of nitrogen to grow out of control, leading to algae blooms. This uses up oxygen in the water and blocks out light, suffocating aquatic life and preventing underwater plants from photosynthesizing. Of course, a green healthy lawn does require some fertilizer — but not too much! Following the instructions on the fertilizer labeling is not always the solution. First step is to determine how much your lawn really needs.
The Loudoun County Master Gardener Volunteers can help! They will visit your yard, take a soil sample, and measure the size of your lawn. The soil sample is sent to VA Tech’s lab, which assays it and recommends how much fertilizer and lime should be used to promote a healthy lawn without contributing to nitrogen pollution. The Master Gardener Volunteers send that information back to you with advice on how to apply the fertilizer and lime. This guarantees that your lawn will not be the source of additional pollution to your local watershed and you will be contributing to the health of the environment.
Interested in having this service performed? Call the Master Gardener Volunteers’ Help Desk at 703-771-5150, or email your request to email@example.com. Just ask about our “Grass Roots Program,” and be sure to provide your name and a telephone number so we can call you back to arrange the details.
For more information about the Loudoun County Master Gardener program visit the website: www.loudouncountymastergardeners.org or call the Loudoun Extension Office at 703-777-0373.
There is a $20 charge for this service. But the Master Gardener Volunteer program isn’t getting rich on it! About two-thirds goes to pay for the soil test ($10 fee plus $3 postage), and the rest pays for the test probes and measuring devices/tools we use to perform this service.