Green and Clean Initiative
That's the name of Virginia's initiative to try and set guidelines for the effective feeding of lawns in our state that are compatible with protecting our surface waters. The program is run through the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and my company, Bio Green has been a proud participant since its inception.
Clean & Green monitors fertility programs for lawns throughout the state. Members pledge to not exceed the set nutrient application guidelines and register the total acreage of grass they service. Both lawn care companies and individuals who treat their own lawns can join. The biggest reason I am such an advocate is that in Virginia, the program is science based. They recognize the value of quality turf both economically and environmentally. This is not the case in many other states.
The biggest threats to our surface waters are nutrient enrichment (too much nitrogen and phosphorus contamination) and sedimentation. DCR's nitrogen guidelines stress slow release fertilizers applied in limited amounts. For any phosphorus feeding, it must be based on an approved soil test showing the need.
By promoting a fertilizer program that protects but is sufficient to maintain a quality lawn, DCR also helps limit sedimentation. That is because nothing helps protect soil from erosion and runoff better then a thick, properly fed lawn. Grass not only takes the brunt of a raindrops impact that would otherwise loosen soil particles allowing them to wash into the closest stream, it greatly speeds its infiltration minimizing runoff.