Every year licensed contractors are required to attend classes to renew their MDA (Maryland Department of Agriculture) certification. Over the past 30 years I have either attended or taught classes. 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 are 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 is 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. 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 of fertilizer application will help reduce algal blooms which are to 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.
Using licensed and certified landscaping contractors is very important. Homeowners need to know that the contractor they are hiring not only has the required license and skills, but is current on the state guidelines, important agricultural issues and the deadly affects 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.