Many home owners enjoy maintaining a beautiful green lawn during the summer months. Chemicals sprayed or spread on lawns to cultivate growth, and to control weeds and insects should be used with proper precautions to reduce the risks to pets. The risks to pets vary depending upon the kinds of chemicals to which they are exposed, the degree of exposure and the health and age of the animal.
Labeling Lawn Chemical Products
Today’s greater awareness among modern lawn chemical developers has spurred efforts to improve chemical product labeling to help inform users on proper handling, use and storage, in the interest of greater safety.
Warning labels on lawn care products packaging now also typically list the contents’ specific hazards to animals, and provide statements about necessary precautions during use.
Users of lawn care chemicals should read product labels carefully and take appropriate measures to maximize safe handling, application, and storage of all chemical products produced for yard applications.
What Pet Owners Can Do for Pet Safety with Lawn Chemicals
There are many actions that pet owners can take to maintain a beautiful lawn, while keeping pets safe.
- Don’t over-treat your yard. Most lawns require little additional chemical treatment after initial seasonal fertilizing.
- When using weed control products that must be allowed to dry on the leaves, ensure that pets do not access the area during the waiting time necessary for the leaves to completely dry.
- Store all lawn chemicals in a secured location that is inaccessible to pets (and children).
- Keep pets, water bowls and pets’ and children’s’ toys inside during chemical treatment of yards, and ensure that there is no danger of chemical exposure before allowing access.
- Wash dogs’ feet and stomachs thoroughly after any accidental exposure to lawn chemicals.
- Change clothes and shoes that were worn during a fertilizer or chemical application to prevent accidental transfer and exposure.
- Use organic alternatives to manufactured chemicals, when possible, for cultivating your lawn.
- Reduce your need for manufactured chemical applications by adjusting your soil’s acidity or alkalinity (pH), so that it is at optimal pH for grass to grow. See your garden supply expert for instructions and supplies.
- Use slow-releasing organic fertilizer for stimulating grass growth.
- Set your mower blade higher, instead of cutting grass very low, in order to crowd out weeds.
- Be cautious near parks or neighboring yards that are treated with chemicals.
W. P. Law, Inc., Lexington, SC
For more information about lawn cultivation and maintenance products and services, contact W.P. Law in Lexington, South Carolina. We’re here to answer your questions, any time.
Expanding a farming operation often involves more than just planting more acres. Many farmers know they will need to improve and expand their current irrigation systems to account for the increased acreage. There is a lot to consider when updating or expanding an irrigation system. Here are several things that need to be considered.
- There is no universal answer for the best irrigation system to install. This decision usually comes down to the cost per acre to install and operate the system and the monetary value of the crop being grown. High value crops such as vegetable and orchard crops are usually irrigated using drip or micro irrigation. In addition to high uniformity and high efficiency, another plus is that the irrigation will not interfere with other field operations such as cultivating, spraying and harvesting.
- It is easier to increase energy efficiency to reduce costs and waste than in the past. Variable frequency drives (VFD’s) can greatly improve the performance and efficiency of electric irrigation pumps. Ask an expert for help in making the right choice for your farm.
- Buried pipelines cost more to install, but they rarely leak when properly installed and maintained. Above ground pipelines are less expensive to install, but they are more susceptible to damage from equipment and rodents causing multiple leaks. In some cases up to 30% of the water is wasted before it reaches the crops. Keep this in mind when deciding which system you need.
- Don’t forget to speak with your electric company about different charges that probably exist for electrical usage during off-peak hours. Keep in mind that not all crops thrive with off-peak watering.
If you need help with your irrigation or waste distribution systems, contact W.P. Law, Inc. for help with these and many other services. Contact us for more information and help.
Farmers and home gardeners share many of the same tasks when it comes to planting their crops. Although there is a difference in scale and because of that, practices. Here is a look at some of the things that successful farmers know that home gardeners can apply to their summer gardens.
Things All Producers of Crops Can Do in the Spring to Increase Production
1. Prepare the soil prior to planting. This begins with a soil test. It is important to know what nutrients need to added to the soil for it to produce the optimum yield for the crop you are growing. In addition to adding nutrients, the soil needs to be tilled to reduce weeds and improve water infiltration and aeration. In some cases deep tillage is required to break up hard pan.
2. Understand your crop’s normal cycles. By understanding what your crop is supposed to do and when will help you identify potential problems early. Things such as how long after planting should you expect the seeds to germinate and how long after germination should you expect flowering are good to know. Also knowing the number of days it takes to produce a crop can help you schedule planting dates.
3. Know the nutrient and water requirements at different stages of growth. This can help you adjust fertilizer and irrigation schedules. Also know if you crop is susceptible to insects or disease a various stages of growth. This can help you develop a spray program to minimize disease and insect damage.
4. Keep in mind that you will improve your harvest if you alternate how you do things from year to year. Farmers learned many years ago the importance of crop rotation. This same principle applies to home gardeners as well, just on a smaller scale. For the home gardener, simply plant your crops in different places in your garden each year.
Contact W.P. Law, Inc. for Help with Your Crop
If you need help with your crops, contact W.P. Law, Inc. for help with irrigation, chemicals, frost protection, and many other services to keep your fields or gardens growing and healthy. Whether you have thousands of acres or orchards, vineyards, and vegetable or a backyard garden, we can help improve your harvest. Contact us for more information and help.
As spring approaches and people are starting up their sprinkler systems, one overlooked part of system maintenance is the proper positioning of sprinkler heads. Over the years as people top dress their lawns, sprinkler heads can become partially buried causing poor performance and wash-outs. An incorrectly positioned sprinkler head can affect water distribution and uniformity leading to dry spots and poor turf growth.
Below are the 4 steps you should follow when raising sprinkler heads to maximize the efficiency of your irrigation system
1. Begin by assessing how high you need to raise the sprinkler. With a hand shovel, dig around the sprinkler on all sides. The depth should be around 6-8 inches to give you some room to work. Carefully lift the grass around the sprinkler head and flip it upside down on the lawn. With a small trowel, remove the dirt from around the sprinkler head taking care not to hit the sprinkler line. Dig deep enough to unscrew the head.
2. Should you have a flexible riser (sometimes referred to as swing pipe) gently lift the sprinkler head with your hands until the top is level with the ground. If the riser is rigid, use a cut-off riser to adjust the height accordingly. Be careful when cutting the cut-off riser so that the end is smooth and it will connect perfectly with the sprinkler head
3. Screw the riser into the sprinkler head and then into the sprinkler line. Once it is tight, check to make sure that the head is vertical and rightfully placed.
4. Pack the removed dirt around the sprinkler head ensuring that it is high enough and almost level with the head. Reposition the grass around the sprinkler head.
Contact us for all of the parts you need to get your sprinkler system operating at optimum performance.