My Fertilizer Schedule is Safe for Dogs and Kids
I recently received an impassioned e-mail from a listener asking if my fertilizer schedule is safe for dogs. We have a new dog in our house, so she shouldn't think for a minute I would suggest a product that would have ill-effects on pets!
The products on my schedule, especially the fertilizers, are safe for dogs to romp on once watered in. The fertilizers are made from products that are actually found in common livestock feeds — urea-based nitrogen, potash, and phosphorous. They feed this stuff to cows, pigs and chickens. So, if a dog or cat gets some on its paws, it's not going to kill them if they lick it off.
Next time you hear someone say, "I just don't want to use chemicals," know that the elements I mentioned above are also part of the human DNA makeup — you and I am made up of chemicals. Also, remember that you can't believe everything you are told by someone promoting an agenda — like going "all organic." If they make a statement such as "fertilizers kill soil microbiology," they'd better have some empirical research to bolster that claim. That statement may have been true years ago, when there was an ill-conceived product around known as anhydrous ammonia. But no one uses that anymore, and it's not in any of the products that are part of my fertilization schedule.
Soil scientists have studied such claims for years, and while there is a salt element in many fertilizers — which is supposed to have a negative effect on beneficial microbes, the fact is that "salt burn" is very temporary. Research shows that even with a "salt burn" of beneficial microbes for a brief moment, the microbial activity is very quick to re-energize and repopulate the area.
Other questions I've received recently about organics have gone something like this: "Randy, I'm going to go organic because I don't want to use chemicals near my cats or kids. Do you have an organic schedule?"
Yes, I do, RIGHT HERE!
I'm fine with going organic, especially if you have small children. But there's a rich irony about most organic fertilizers and dogs. They'll eat it! Dogs go nuts for poultry-based fertilizers, and they'll dig through yards and gardens to get to them.
Another irony with regard to "going organic" is the use of Epsom salt. I guess all those manic-organics out there think they are using something natural, but the fact is Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate - salt!
Here are some facts about my fertilization schedule at this time of year:
Sat. April 23, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
We visit Pearland this Saturday for the first time ever in all my years on GardenLine.
That may not sound like a big deal to you, but for me it's interesting because most of my family lives in Pearland. In fact, my niece Lauren Langner is a bigger celebrity in Pearland than I could ever hope to be. She's the star of last year's Pearland Lady Oilers State Champion Softball Team, and she's a senior on the team this year. If you're not familiar with their state championship run last year, it was her athletic heroics at second base that saved them in the semi-final game and launched them into the championship game.
So, with my family being local celebs, and after all the e-mails and questions I get from Pearland, I thought it was about time to get out tthere officially. We will be hanging out at Pearland Lumber & Ace Hardware, 2027 N. Main (Highway 35), from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Our visit is being sponsored by Nitro-Phos, and that means $5 discounts on bags of Nitro-Phos Super Turf and that we'll be drawing for a free bag of Super Turf every half hour beginning at 11:30.
You can also get a coupon for $5 off my new book, "1001 GardenLine Questions," just for the asking at the store or at Pearland Old Townsite Farmer's Market at Zychlinski's Park Saturday morning. It's right around the corner from the Ace store.
And that's not all. Seasonal flags will be discounted 20 percent, Holland Grills will be doing cooking demonstrations, and there will be refreshments for everyone!
If your backyard is a mess, upload a snapshot at ktrh.com by Sun., May 15, and you could win $5,000 in landscaping from Landscape Management Services PLUS an eco-friendly rainwater harvesting system!!
On Mon., May 16, KTRH listeners will have a chance to vote for the backyard they think most deserves a makeover. We'll announce the winner at 8 a.m. May 31.
If you win, Landscape Management Services' experienced landscape designers work with you to add real beauty, enjoyment and value to your home.
exclusively on NewsRadio 740 KTRH.
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