Improve lawns with Chesterfield's 'grass roots' program

By Melissa Correa - bio | email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - By studying a sample smaller than a cup a sugar Chesterfield master gardeners can tell what's up with your grass.

Jay Stegmaier knows that for a fact. As the county administrator, four years ago he figured he'd better try the program if he was going to promote it.

"I struggled with my lawn for 25 years," said Stegmaier.  "I wish I had this advice and this program available a long time ago."

Armed with a wheel, stick and clipboard a master gardener will evaluate your yard, pull a soil sample and measure your lawn.

"Knowing how big your lawn is crucial, and that's one of the things that you get from the grass roots program," said Susan Edwards with the Chesterfield Extension Office.

A report card sent to the homeowner by August indicates nutrient and pH levels.  It also informs them of water run-off and ways to be more environmentally friendly.

"It reduces the amount of fertilizer that you're putting on the lawn which is saving you money.  It's saving the environment because you have less nutrients getting into our streams and waterways and at the end of the day you actually end up with a better-looking lawn."

In the 12 years since it began  the grassroots program has evaluated  3,800 yards -- totaling 27 million square feet of turf.  And at a time when home values are as important as ever,  having a greener, healthier yard adds to a home's worth.

"It's a win-win-win situation."

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