Sponsered by Lawn Tech Corp. This Blog is designed to help the average consumer discuss problems with ornamental lawns, trees and shrubs.
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Designed to answer any questions you have regarding fertilization, weed control and ornamental turf diseases. Be sure and scroll to the bottom of the page for helpful articles and past entries.
Friday, January 4, 2013
Chemicals and The Lawn Care Industry
The word "Chemical" sometimes has a negative connotation, movies have sensationalized the threat to the average citizen to the point that the very word can conjure up feelings of post apocalyptic horrors.
The reality is far from how the movies have conditioned those viewers to believe; after all, just about every household item we use has chemicals in them. Now that doesn’t make them any less harmful, yet we have to be rational as to what classifies an ingredient as a chemical and just how that particular chemical effects our environment.
As it turns out most substances labeled as "Chemicals" are found naturally in our environment and in our bodies. For instance, a very common chemical used in lawn care is Sodium Chloride which is found naturally in nature and in the human body. Yet, in large quantities can be harmful. This rational way to look at chemicals is more in keeping with the science of chemicals and less in the over dramatized picture Hollywood has depicted.
There are many different families of chemicals and different classifications of chemicals. Some occur naturally in our environment while others are manmade, all typically separated by three main subcategories: Ingredient, Toxicity and Flash point. These three main categories are used to classify a certain chemical for many reasons not just the end user. Manufacturing, Transportation and Application utilize these classifications in order to insure each chemical is used as intended.
The Environmental Protection Agency which governs how and when chemicals are used in our environment oversees the regulation, distribution, and application of chemicals in a wide variety of uses. Essentially the "Police" of the chemical world, the EPA have other functions however their main purpose is to protect human health and our environment. Chemicals are just one category the EPA regulates and it’s the most impactful. The EPA's involvement is one that is needed, warranted and underappreciated.
In the lawn care industry chemicals are used to control pest. A "Pest" can be anything a homeowner doesn’t want in his or her yard; Weeds, Insects and disease prompt chemical use to obtain ornamental qualities and protect landscape. All regulated by the Department of Agriculture and the EPA. Each lawn care chemical company must go through detailed training yearly, pass a written test and obtain a commercial applicator's license in order to apply controlled use chemical products on someone’s yard.
The chemicals used in the lawn care industry are created and chosen for their ability to eliminate "Pest" ironically, making our environment less pest intrusive and more appealing. So how safe are the chemicals used and regulated in our industry?
The end user is heavily regulated by licensing agencies like the Department of Agriculture and the EPA, insuring each chemical used, is put out in a manner which causes the least chance of over application and hazard. The chemicals used typically are of low toxicity and application rates are minimized and monitored to try and limit over exposure to the environment. Chemicals like Fertilizer which have components occurring naturally in our environment, are most common, other chemicals man made in origin are used to "kill pests" all heavily regulated and diluted for use.
Generally chemicals are safe for the user, our customers and the environment when applied as prescribed. Our industry is heavily regulated to insure each and every user adheres to regulations that keep chemicals from harming our environment. As long as you hire a company which is licensed to apply chemicals, has a professional staff who cares about the customer and follows the laws and regulations under which the license they carry was issued, you can't go wrong.
As with any industry, you have companies who try and circumvent the rules, our industry is no different. You can find companies willing to apply chemicals without a license. Eventually, the law will catch up to them; heavy fines and jail time will follow. Finding the right company is the key to proper lawn care, finding a company properly trained and licensed is the answer.
Lawn Care has always been a unique way to bring about the most satisfying aspect of any property, a beautiful lawn is a statement of health and tranquility, giving a homeowner a sense of accomplishment, a statement of success and something to be proud of. As we learn more about how chemicals are used in the lawn care industry we find that the toxicity of those chemicals is relatively small, heavily regulated with little to no impact to our environment. When properly applied by an ethical, licensed responsible company, the end result is a beautiful lawn done right.
If you’re interested in finding out more how lawn care can be done right, call 972-346-2696 or visit www.lawntech.com
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Why is Texas A&M so Important to the Lawncare Industry?
Texas A&M is dedicated to providing the best agricultural research for the region we live in, Most data formulated for North Texas Landscapers is compiled by Texas A&M scientist, agronomist and field researchers, giving lawncare providers up to date information useful to our industry, such as; Planting schedules, watering guidlines and disease identification. Texas A&M is the foremost expert when it comes to Texas regional climates and Native Turf Grass knowledge.
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