Healthy Lawns Can Help Protect The Bay

For years, concern about nutrient pollution in the Chesapeake Bay watershed has been a driving force behind scientific research and environmental policy. Recently, the EPA released a report summarizing research done by universities and other institutions highlighting the impacts of lawn fertilization on the bay. To the surprise of many, the report finds that using fertilizer to establish dense lawns can result in  less pollution than unfertilized lawns, provided that the fertilizer is applied correctly and used in conjunction with proper maintenance practices.
Download the report here.

The conclusion of much of the research is that dense lawns on soil protect against erosion better than spotty, weedy lawns. And soil erosion is a large factor in pollution of the Chesapeake Bay. Soils naturally contain nutrients from both their original parent material (the rocks they were derived from) and rainfall (rain contains small amounts of many nutrients). If soil is not protected from rain and wind, it can find its way into streams and rivers where the nutrients that are adhered to the soil will dissolve into the water. But by establishing a dense lawn you can reduce runoff and erosion, even if some nutrients are used to establish that dense cover.

However…

The report and research goes on to elaborate that the benefits of dense lawns are only realized when they are properly maintained. If a dense stand of grass is created through over fertilization, excessive watering, bagging and loss of clippings, the benefits compared to non-fertilized lawn are lost.

The EPA report outlines 10 principles that should be followed to create a dense lawn that prevents pollution. Of the 10 principles, Hertzler and George is 100% compliant and has been for many years. Our company has always been a proponent of protecting the bay by following the recommendations of the Virginia Cooperative Extension and other university research to create the best and most responsible product for our customers. I look forward to hearing the public’s response to this report and if anyone has questions please contact me for further discussion.

10 Lawn Care Principles For Reduced Watershed Pollution


  1. Test your soil and use Virginia Cooperative Extension research to determine the appropriate amount of fertilizer your lawn needs.
  2. Maintain a dense stand of grass to minimize nutrient and soil loss.
  3. For each application, use less than 1 lb per of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet of lawn.
  4. Rather that bagging your clippings and sending them to the landfill, keep your clippings on your lawn or compost them. And make sure they’re not washing into streams.
  5. Apply fertilizer only when your grass is actively growing.
  6. Utilize slow release fertilizer when possible.
  7. Mow your grass at 3″ or taller to promote deep rooting.
  8. Immediately remove all fertilizer from impervious surfaces.
  9. Don’t apply fertilizer within 15 to 20′ of ponds, streams or rivers.
  10. Employ practices like aeration, thatch management, bio-stimulates, and adding organic matter to promote increased soil porosity and infiltration.
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Bed Transformation!

Once again I am very pleased with the excellent work H&G did on my property.  They turned a section of my ugly front yard with invasive Bermuda grass into a beautiful and simple flower bed with mulch and many small bushes.  This striking transformation adds greatly to the house’s curb appeal.  I look forward to them coming back out this fall and replacing the rest of the front yard with sod and removing all the undesirable Bermuda grass.  Brian was easy and pleasant to work and plan with.  He always responded to my questions immediately.  Jon and his crew were likewise very nice, efficient, and perfectionists in planting my new yard.  Many thanks and accolades to H&G once again!

Sandy Hall

So thankful to be a customer!

when i returned to williamsburg in 2022, it was a real challenge to find a company willing to take on “yet one more customer” – i was ignored and turned down by others… but hertzler and george came to my rescue and i could not be happier – wonderful staff, professional and so friendly, i completely trust them to service my yard!  merry christmas and happy new year to everyone and H&G!

Kae

Drainage Help

I would like to let you know how happy we are with the service we received recently.
We had a drainage issue in our yard and did some research, learned your company was highly recommended and decided to see what your company could do.
From the first contact, we had a great experience as the lady that answered the phone was very nice. She put us in contact with Brian Kemp who we also liked from the start, and we made an appt for him to come and take a look. He was right on time, very thorough, and just a very nice fella who we both liked right away and had confidence in. We really liked how he gave us options and listened to what we wanted. We scheduled the work, it was done right on time, and it looks great! Brian was even nice enough to do a video walk through for us afterwards as we weren’t in town. Just great service from start to finish! Thank you Brian

We will definitely be back with more projects in the future.

T.M. - Ford's Colony

Thank You

Just a short note to thank you for all the help you gave us with our garden this year. Jonathon again did a wonderful job doing the bed detailing this summer, as did the mulching crew in the spring. I don’t know the name of the woman who supervised the mulching crew, but I want to let you know how professional she was. In fact, the entire crew was pleasant to work with, especially to experience the care that they took with their work.

Thanks also for being so flexible with the changes we requested for our mowing schedule.

E.L. - Ford's Colony

Always Helpful

Brian came out last week to try to assess a problem we are having in our yard.  He arrived on time, was extremely courteous and took a considerable amount of time analyzing our situation.  While he was unable to reach a solution, he did take the time to research and recommend another business that might be able to help us.  That kind of customer service will make us more likely to call on Hertzler & George if other issues arise.  Thanks, Brian!

JA