Every year licensed contractors are required to attend classes to renew their Maryland Department of Agriculture certification. Over the past 30 years, I have either attended or taught classes for the Maryland Department of Agriculture certification program. This year’s classes were held at Howard County Community College in Columbia, Maryland. Lecture topics ranged from insect problems in our metro area to fertilization recommendations, to pond maintenance.
One of the important topics I want to bring you up to date on is the current fertilization guidelines. By practicing good environmental stewardship, we can reduce fertilizer runoff into our creeks, rivers, and Chesapeake Bay. The permitted nitrogen levels applied to lawn areas are now reduced to (1) pound of nitrogen per 1000 sq ft, per year. In the past,(3) pounds of nitrogen per 1000 sq ft of lawn were recommended by the University of Maryland. Thus making early fall is the best time of year to do your turf grass feeding. No fertilizing is allowed from Nov thru Feb since the ground can be frozen. Thereby causing excessive runoff when it rains. This reduction in fertilizer application will help reduce algal blooms, which are too detrimental to our waterways. For those residents that live on our waterways and fisherman, you know of the large fish kills due to these deadly algae blooms. Some of the blooms are naturally caused in nature, like a “perfect” storm, and others are caused by humans.
Why Use a Licensed and Maryland Department of Agriculture Certified Contractor?
Using licensed and MDA-certified landscaping contractors is very important. Homeowners need to know that the contractor they are hiring not only has the required license(s) and skills but, is up to date on state guidelines, important agricultural issues, and the deadly effects they can have, on your property and our environment.
Below is a picture of Wade Pryor, owner of Pryor’s Nursery – Home of the Living Fence, teaching a re-certification class many years ago. They were using a greenhouse as the classroom back in the day! Call or email us if you have questions regarding the living fence, evergreens for privacy.