Grasscycling “new” again
What is old is suddenly new again. Remember the “Grasscycling” push put on by the Professional Lawn Care Association of America (PLCAA) in the late 1980s and early 1990s? The point of the initiative was to convince homeowners and lawn maintenance pros not to bag their grassclippings and not to truck the lawn waste to landfills. As we all know this is incredibly more costly now because of higher fuel prices and almost universal landfill tipping fees. Grasscycling was one of PLCAA's biggest successes because the message did eventually filter through the media to the public. friend and former technical editor of Landscape Management, Bill Knoop, Ph.D., Texas A&M extension, initiated a similar “Don't Bag It” campaign, with essentially he same message. Grasscycling, a term rarely heard for more than a decade or more, is starting to resonate again, this time in the “green” arena. It has been proven again and again that when clippings are returned to the lawn, some of the nutrients, in particular nitrogen, return to the soil, meaning less fertilizer is needed to keep the grass green and growing.
Florida county gets tough on ferts
And finally, I ran across the new law for fertilizing lawn s in Sarasota County in Florida. These types of local laws aimed at lawn fertilizers seem to be cropping up in many parts of the country. These came from a recent article in the Herald Tribune:
Sarasota County's fertilizer law aims to cut down on the amount of pollution getting into area waterways. Here is a look at what it calls for:
- It prohibits residents from applying fertilizers that contain nitrogen or phosphorus between June 1 and Sept. 30.
- It sets maximum levels for the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus that legal fertilizers can contain.
- It sets a fertilizer-free zone within 10 feet of any body of water and creates a voluntary "low maintenance zone" within 6 feet of water bodies.
- It recommends use of "slow-release fertilizers."
- It requires fertilizer application companies to create a training course.
- It sets penalties for violators that start with a warning and rise to $500.
ServiceMaster spends big bucks
Business Week recently reported that lawn care and pest-control provider ServiceMaster Co. spent $2.2 million last year to lobby the federal government. The company was acquired in 2007 by private-equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice.
ServiceMaster, which owns TruGreen lawn care and Terminix pest control, spent $1 million in the second half of 2007 to lobby Congress and the Environmental Protection Agency, said the magazine.
ServiceMaster lobbied on parts of the federal farm bill that apply to insecticides and fungicides and on a bill signed by President Bush in October that extended funding for pesticide oversight office.
Ontario pesticide ban — look out, here it comes!
The Province of Ontario will almost certainly implement a new provincial pesticide law this year. The Province's environment minister in an interview with the Kingston Whig-Standard newspapers said: “The bottom line is this - we're going to ban the use and sale of cosmetic pesticides. It's going to supercede any municipal bylaw. It's going to ban the sale of, not just the use of, cosmetic pesticides by the general public, which is what the municipal bylaws speak to.” — Ron Hall