by Rick Orr Spring 2014
A healthy lawn is far more than a decorative patch of grass. A healthy lawn is a manmade improvement that enhances urban living. A healthy lawn captures the dust, pollen and solids that are picked by the wind and recycles them into plant food. And a healthy lawn filters and purifies rainwater (rainwater is not as “clean” as you think). However, the environmentalists have fought to discourage homeowners from growing healthy lawns by lobbying for fertilizer, pesticides and watering restrictions and stigmatizing lawns. Why? They believe the natural is superior to a any manmade improvement. But, are they right?
Lawn Fertilization does not Pollute
In recent years there has been a lot of chatter, finger pointing and even laws passed because of the persistent belief that fertilizing lawns is polluting rivers, lakes and seas in Florida. Well, new research confirms the old research that lawns take up virtually every drop of fertilizer applied to the lawn. And if you think this is junk science or research done by a biased group, the research is conducted by the University of Florida, funded by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (Florida EPA) and procedures and techniques are monitored and controlled by the Florida EPA. This research is the real thing and it will leave egg on the faces of environmentalists as well as the politicians who listened to their junk science about lawn fertilization.
Hear for Yourself
Got to about the 2:15 mark and you'll hear Dr Trenholm drop the bombshell "… grass has a tremendous ability to take up virtually all the fertilizer that we apply to it"
Understanding the Video
Dr Trenholm parsed her words carefully to ensure they could not be deconstructed by rabid environmentalists. Yet she was very clear on two points:
- Unbiased broad spectrum Research - The research was funded by the Florida EPA and done on a "Wide Variety of Circumstances"
- No Escape for the Fertilizer - Dr Trenholm states "…grass has a tremendous ability to take up virtually all the fertilizer that we apply to it"
What about the Over Fertilizing and Heavy Rains Disclaimer
What about over fertilizing and heavy rains? Well, first I use less than the recommended rates because we're good - we're professionals! We don't need to over fertilize for effect - we can keep your lawn healthy with less than the recommended rate. Plus we are a "for profit" business and applying any more fertilizer than necessary cuts into profits.
As far as the rains, that is why we use liquid fertilizers in the rainy season. Sounds counterintuitive but unlike granular fertilizers that lay on the surface, liquids are chemically charged and adhere to organic matter. Rains only help spread the liquid over more surface for greater absorption.
Black Eye for Environmentalists and Law Makers
Dr Trenholm’s research is a swift kick to the environmentalist's and law-maker's backside who promoted and passed fertilizer bans. When you use words like "tremendous ability" you are talking extreme - lawns are extreme at taking up fertilizer. And for a scientist to say "virtually all" they mean all - they just can't be that definitive about agricultural research. The bottom line - Fertilizing lawns does not pollute our water bodies.
Here is a link to more information about this at ILOVETURF.COM: The Lake is Slimy Green because of People Fertilizing Their Lawns: Myth Debunked
by Rick Orr Winter 2014
As the soil temperatures rise in March, this is the perfect time to fertilize shrubs, trees and palms in St Petersburg, Clearwater, Largo and surrounding areas. Why? Before shrubs, trees and palms start their spring growth, first the soil temperatures rise in late winter /early spring and then soil microbes start to flourish. This sequence of events is by design - as microbe activity flourishes, those little soil microbes gobble up all the available nutrients – the more nutrients, the more activity. Then when time, temperature and microbe population reach a perfect point – which just so happens to be the point when shrubs, trees and palms need fertilizer - the microbes start to release nutrients to the shrubs, trees and palms.
Lesson #1 explains why the best mowing height is 3" or Higher for a St Augustine Turf Grass Lawn.
Many fail at growing a St Augustine Turf Grass lawn because they try to mow the lawn just like back home - in Jersey or Philly. But this is Pinellas County, where the soil is different, the climate is different and most important - the grass is different. In Pinellas County, Florida, the best lawn is a St Augustine turf grass lawn. And not all grasses are created equal - watch the video to learn how.
ILOVETURF.COM is an extension service of APL Lawn Spraying - a free service to the community to encourage good cultural practices to cultivate healthy lawns. This brief video highlights the main features of ILOVETURF.COM - Education, Connected and Customer Service. The articles, videos, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest are free to the public but only customers of APL Lawn Spraying have access to customer service center.
We created service reminders for APL Lawn Spraying customers - a message sent to you reminding you that we are coming to spray the lawn the next day.
We can send it by email or text - your choice. Service reminders are great if you have locked gate or pets
Or you just want a heads up the day before we spray the lawn.
It's easy to sign up for service reminders and it's free
by RIck Orr Winter 2014
Homeowners shopping for lawn spraying services often ask "What do you do?"
In this short video you'll learn exactly what we do as a lawn spraying company.
In a nutshell - We keep the fertility medium to medium high, we kill the bugs during the warm season months and we work on the weeds all year long. All that in 6 applications per year for about $30 month.
by RIck Orr Winter 2014
The most often asked question by a new customer is "Do you leave the bill on the door ?
This short video answers that question, plus how to pay your bill and a few highlights of the bill you receive in the mail.
by Rick Orr Winter 2014
Landscapes provide the first impression of a HOA community. A person can quickly judge a community by its landscape. Bare soil, gaps in hedges, spindly shrubs, weeds and broken sprinklers speak loudly of trouble ahead. Yet healthy turf, shrubs and trees whisper a pleasant invitation to healthy living. People are drawn to lush green healthy environments - they instinctively know that a healthy environment is healthy. Yet keeping a diverse plant community healthy can be intimidating especially if it is already failing. A new HOA president or manager will ask: Where do I start?
by Rick Orr Winter 2013
We have lawn watering restrictions in Pinellas County but there is no water shortage - not in Florida! For example, Weeki Wachee Springs ,one of a thousand local springs, discharges enough fresh water daily to provide most of the fresh water needed in the Tampa Bay area. However instead of building an aqueduct from Weeki Wachee Springs to Tampa Bay area, Tampa Bay Water (aka central planners) built a desalination plant and a reservoir. Both are epic failures. The water restrictions are needed because Tampa Bay Water failed their mission - provide clean, safe water to the region now and for future generations. So, what is Tampa Bay Water and why is lawn watering restricted if there is no water shortage?