Why Does it Matter?
During this time of year many of us like to compete to see who can have the neighborhood’s thickest, greenest, prettiest lawn. But many times the road to a perfect lawn is paved with lots of fertilizer. And, these chemicals if used or disposed of improperly, can quickly become hazardous to you and the environment. Much of the excess fertilizer washed off of lawns, sidewalks and driveways makes its way to waterways where the phosphorous in the fertilizers cause algae to grow like crazy. Those excess algal blooms use up dissolved oxygen in the water and choke out other important aquatic life. This problem is most visible in the Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone where the Mississippi River joins the Ocean and where few fish and other aquatic animals are able to survive. Runoff from the lawns, fields, driveways and sidewalks of the Midwest travels all the way to the Gulf and compound the problem…
What Should You Do?
First and foremost, find out if your lawn needs fertilizer and if so, how much. Co-Alliance in Danville provides soil testing for a reasonable fee. For more information about the test, call Co-Alliance directly at 718-2156. The soil test results will indicate what nutrients your lawn is lacking so that you know precisely what to buy. To avoid watching your fertilizer go down the drain, carefully read and follow the application directions listed on the package, paying close attention to recommended application times and amounts. If you have leftover chemicals that you are not going to be using, bring them to one of our Tox-Away Days. The next one is on August 13th at Hickory Elementary in Avon from 8am -1pm at. For more details call the District office or visit: HendricksSolidWaste.com
Do you want to find out more about the Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone? Some basic information is available at: smm.org/deadzone. Also a quick Google or Wikipedia search uncovers lots of additional information. If you are interested in caring for your lawn in a chemical free way, visit: agreenliving.net/organic-lawn-care for some tips and ideas. Also, you might also be interested in other alternatives to the traditional lawn of green grass. Spend some time researching grass-free lawns to find out more.