When the grass is greener …

Healthy grass

Sometimes a customer tells us that he or she wants a greener lawn. Upon further investigation, I find what they want is a “nitro” lawn — that nearly phosphorescent green that comes with excessive use of nitrogen. It’s that beautiful green that suites Ireland so well becuase they can grow it year-round in mild weather. Here — you can only get that kind of grass with heavy fertilizer use.

Usually, customers tell us that this nitro green is the color of their neighbors’ lawns.

At any rate, when we hear that the grass isn’t green enough, we tell our callers what we’re about to tell you.

That kind of fertilizer use is irresponsible. To get that kind of green here in the United States, you need enough fertilizer that you will certainly have run-off and affect the Chesapeake Bay. It’s that simple.

Is that a fair trade-off? I don’t think so. That’s why I specialize in organically fertilized lawns.


Therefore, one quarter of all lawns that feed into the Chesapeake Bay are overfertilized — are present a significant problem.

Here are the facts:

  • Test your soil before fertilizing.
  • Use natural (animal and plant based) slow-release fertilizers instead of synthetic, water-soluble fertilizers.
  • Apply no more than 1 pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet of land.
  • Apply any fertilizer at the right time — follow instructions.

Read more about it:

Home Lawn Fertilization in Virginia: Frequently Asked Questions, Virginia Cooperative Extension Service

Groundwater Quality and the Use of Lawn and Garden Chemicals by Homeowners, Virginia Cooperative Extension Service

Lawn Fertilization in Virginia, Virginia Cooperative Extension Service

Healthy Lawns, Healthy Waters, Chesapeake Bay Foundation

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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!


Five Stars All Around

We hired H&G to help us re-do our landscaping after a different local landscaping company did a sub par job with plant selections and installations. That company also was very hard to deal with. H&G stepped right up with Jennifer creating a new planting scheme comprising of native plants with some we had never seen before and which we love! She is extremely knowledgeable and pleasant to work with – a true landscaping charm! Jon did the installations and also did a fantastic job. He was very meticulous on planting and finishing the job neatly with mulch. Unlike that other company’s installer, Jon left us extremely happy with the job done. Customer service on the phone – pleasant, patient and helpful. The only, and ever so minor aspect of their work, is they don’t offer a guarantee on the plants or install. I suppose that’s becoming industry standard. However, now looking over all the plantings with a bit of time passing, I am confident that there won’t need to be any replacements. Watering is of course the key element. Thank you H&G, the country cottage landscaping we’ve wanted is now ours – FIVE STARS!

Chris Dombrowski
Ford's Colony | Homeowner

True professionals

Had these guys build a surface-grade patio in May 2023. They looked at the project, sent me a proposed scope of work and contract via email, took a deposit of 1/2 the total via bank transfer. They set a date weeks later to start the job. They showed up on time, worked professionally and cleaned up at the end of the day. Whole job took 3 days, and they even replaced all the patio furniture on the last day. The final product was precisely what I asked for, done in a high-quality, workmanlike way.

H&G are not the cheapest guys out there, but for the extra money you get a professional product, professionally executed, on time, on budget. Honestly: I don’t think it gets any better than that.


Ken Blakely

Beyond Satisfied

We had an ugly uneven weedy patio and a driveway that needed reshaping and gravel. The transformation is stunning. Your representative Brian was patient and helpful in designing repairs to our satisfaction and your work crew was exceptional. Edwardo the work site foreman was extremely knowledgeable and professional and created a beautiful patio. His crew was superior.

Tim & Cynthia Porter

Joe Hertzler goes the extra mile

Hertzler and George were contracted to perform some landscaping for a seller of mine to get the home ready to show. They had just finished an extensive re-landscaping of the next door neighbors entire yard. I was very impressed by their attention to detail and their desire to satisfy their client. Joe Hertzler goes the extra mile to achieve complete client satisfaction. They provide a complete mix of landscaping design services and maintenance of existing landscaping

Tim Parker
Liz Moore Real Estate