February 1, 2011

A free monthly resource of lawn care tips and reminders helping you keep your lawn green!

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In This Issue:

  1. The Preacher's Lawn Mower

  2. February Lawn Tips

  3. www.Organic-Fertilizer-Hype.com

Do you have a lawn care question? Get your lawn care questions answered here... Ask anything related to lawn care and landscaping. It's free and easy lawn care advice - we're happy to help!

The Preacher's Lawn Mower

One day a preacher in a little church was looking out the window of the church office at the grass that needed mowing.

"I wish some of the members would take heart and mow the grass." He thought.

Knowing that there was little if any chance of that happening, he decided to take his daily bicycle ride.

While out riding his bicycle, he came across a young boy with a lawn mower. He was reminded of the church yard.

The preacher stopped and asked the lad "how would you like to swap that lawn mower for this bicycle?"

To which the boy replied "sure I'll swap." So the trade was made.

The little boy rode off on the bicycle, and the preacher rolled the mower back to the church.

Once there he started pulling the rope trying to start the mower.

About that time the little boy came by on the bicycle and stopped.

"Oh there is something I should have told you about that mower." He said. "In order to get it to start you have to give it a good cussin'." He continued.

The preacher reared back sticking his thumbs in his suspenders and said to the lad. "Son I have been a faithful servant of the Lord for so long that I no longer even remember those words."

The little boy said, "Don't worry, you just keep pullin' on that rope an' they'll all come back to you!"

February Lawn Tips

Do your trees need to be pruned?

Reasons to prune your trees:

  • Prune to promote tree health by removing dead or diseased branches.
  • To maintain a desired form.
  • Prune to improve appearance - by removing unwanted branches, watersprouts and suckers that detract from your tree's appearance.
  • To protect people and property - removing dead or hazardous branches.
  • To thin the canopy - allowing light to filter through the tree so you can grow grass under it.

Late winter is the best time to prune most tree species. Visit the International Society of Arboriculture for more information on pruning your trees and to find a Certified Arborist near you.


I have been monitoring the internet for new and helpful lawn care information that I can pass on to you. Wow! The debate between Chemical Fertilizer vs Organic Fertilizer is fierce on blogs and gardening forums. I have some really humorous - and mostly false - claims from the natural organic camp that I want to share with you.

I must state that I'm a fan of using natural organic lawn fertilizers, but I'm a bigger fan of the truth. As wonderful and informative as the internet is - it is equally full of hype and half-truths created by people with hidden motives...usually a product to sell.

There are very good reasons for each type of fertilizer. The matter boils down to personal goals and preferences. See How to Choose the Best Lawn Fertilizer to help you decide on the best fertilizer for your lawn.

Ten Outrageous Claims Against Synthetic Lawn Fertilizers:

  1. "There is no safe chemical fertilizer. Chemical fertilizers poison the environment."

  2. "Commercial lawn fertilizers are full of dangerous toxins and poisons."

  3. "They are made with a mixture of different chemicals, designed to be strong and powerful as a way of helping our garden. However, this mix can be quite toxic..."

  4. "Synthetic fertilizers contain thousands of chemicals and poisons that negatively affect the organisms that come into contact with them."

  5. "How can a 30-10-20 synthetic fertilizer be better than 3-1-2 organic fertilizer? ...with the chemical lawn "food" containing 30 percent N, 10 percent P and 20 percent K. That means that in a 40-pound bag, you are actually buying 12 pounds of N, 4 pounds of P and 8 pounds of K." My Comment: Umm, do the math, you are paying for the nutrients.

  6. "Chemical fertilizers tend to leach, or filter away from the plants, requiring additional applications." My comment: All nutrients in water soluble forms can leach.

  7. "Roughly two-thirds of chemical fertilizer never reaches the target plants and instead leaches into surface water, ground water or volatizes into the air we breathe."

  8. "Chemical fertilizers put pets and children at higher risk for many conditions including leukemia, cancer, decreased fertility, liver damage and birth defects."

  9. "Safety is the biggest issue today as a nice yard or garden pales in comparison to a lost child or pet. If you are not sure then you should be looking at organic fertilizer such as Scott’s organic lawn fertilizer or Scott’s organic choice products."

  10. "Most organic fertilizer is applied by hand. This presents the danger of dehydration and muscle fatigue. The elderly are especially susceptible to this danger." My Comment: This claim about the dangers of organic fertilizer was just too funny not to include.
Fertilizer becomes a pollutant when it is misapplied or overapplied - it does not matter if the product is natural organic or synthetic. Take care to use fertilizers according to their labels and instructions. Proper rate and timing is important as well as basing lawn nutrient requirements on a reliable soil test. Protect our water sources! Avoid getting fertilizer on sidewalks, driveways and roads where it can wash into storm drains and then into streams, lakes and rivers.

~ Remember to keep your mower blades sharp ;)

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Lawn Care Questions and Answers

Daniel Olsen ISA Cartified Arborist

Lewiston Lawn Care ECA Member