Environmentally-Friendly Lawn Care
For several years we have been warning about the dangers in over-fertilization of Wenonah lawns. We have suggested increased garden areas with drought resistant plants as a means to reduce lawn size and ultimately less fertilizer use. The runoff from excessive fertilizer use has caused green growth on the surface of streams, ponds and lakes (especially Comey's Lake) due to the high nutrient input from mostly lawn fertilizer.
We have been encouraging homeowners to do an accurate measurement of their lawn area in square feet so that a minimum dose of fertilizer is used. Many homes have about 3,000 sq ft. of lawn. The bags of fertilizer are usually for 5,000 sq. ft. In cases like this you could use one half the bag and save the rest for another application. There are new environmentally friendly products available today containing (IBDU) a Controlled Release Nitrogen Source to your lawn. When the fertilizer is exposed to water, it produces a very efficient 16-week release to the lawn that prevents high doses of nutrient into streams and gets just the right amount of product into your lawn grass. This is in contrast to other products that dissolve quickly and run into streams.
The surface soil in Wenonah is generally very acid with a PH of 6 to 6.5. That's why acid loving plants thrive in our woodlands. However, your lawn grass needs a PH of 6.5 to 6.75 to be healthy. An application of pelletized three-month action Lime at the rate of 50 pounds per 1,000 sq. ft. would raise the PH from 6 to 6.75. You can check your lawn PH with PH paper and color chart or test kits that are available.
There is also the matter of liquid fertilizers that are applied by a variety of companies on a frequent basis. Many of the liquid types give an initial boost to the lawn but are quickly dissipated, requiring another dose shortly thereafter. Contact your lawn provider and ask if their products are environmentally friendly. Then check the information they gave you with a South Jersey soil and plant expert. If you take a small wedge of grass with roots from your lawn and allow them to examine it, they will make the proper recommendations for minimal feeding and environmentally friendly care of your lawn.
Please help us to keep Wenonah Environmentally Friendly to the 149+ acres of conservation lands, streams, ponds and lakes.
-- Chuck Forsman, Wenonah Environmental Commission