In order to keep a healthy lawn, it’s key to apply four fertilizer treatments a year. Specially formulated slow-release treatments give your lawn nutrients it needs to grow. While maintaining your lawn, you also need to make sure weed control is a priority by using pre-emergent and post-emergent herbicides.
With these fertilizer and herbicide applications comes chemicals and many homeowners have concerns about whether those chemicals are safe for their children and/or pets.
The simple answer? After a time, yes. Immediately after application, however, is a different story. The potential dangers below are easily mitigated by following instructions on the product label or by consulting with a professional crew like J&C Lawn Care to get your lawn treated.
How Safe Is Fertilizer for Pets?
For each season in the region of Happy Valley, Troutdale, and Gresham, OR, your yard should be safely treated with fertilizer. Some homeowners opt to use organic fertilizer, while others choose to use types that contain herbicides. Many contain labels that say to keep pets off the grass for 72 hours, but each fertilizer’s safety varies by type:
Nitrogen, Phosphorus, & Potassium Fertilizers
Most fertilizers contain at least one of these elements. Some contain all three, and each one is beneficial to your lawn in different ways. For example, nitrogen helps a plant in its middle stages of growth, giving the plant more leaves and stems. Phosphorus is something that plants require throughout their life, as it helps promote root health and flowering. Finally, potassium gives a plant the nutrients it needs during its growth stages and also helps to prevent plant diseases in your yard.
These fertilizers do contain some natural elements, but may also contain herbicides to kill weeds. In order to avoid pet poisoning, it’s recommended to keep your pets off of the lawn until the fertilizer is absorbed into the soil. It’s also best to keep bags of fertilizers locked away, as dogs may try to get into them. Make sure your fertilizer doesn’t have iron in it.
Some fertilizers have dangerous herbicides in them like organophosphates which can cause symptoms in dogs like tremors, seizures, and sometimes abnormal heart rates.
Be careful with organic fertilizers as well. It may be easy to assume that something labeled as “organic” is safer, especially for your kids, but when considering pet safety, it’s not always safer. Dogs especially will be attracted to the smell of organic fertilizer, since it’s made from animal byproducts like bone meal or blood meal.
Ingesting too much of this product can cause dogs to have digestive irritation or even a bowel obstruction, costing you a hefty vet bill. As with inorganic fertilizers, make sure to keep these locked away from your pets if you’re storing bags of them in your garage or shed.
Keeping Children Away from Chemical Fertilizer
Chemical fertilizers aren’t generally safe for children, so it’s recommended to keep them off of your lawn until it has completely dissolved into the grass.
Children often have a tendency to sit in the grass or play in the dirt, and being around those chemicals before they’ve dissolved may affect them more adversely than an adult would be affected. They may also end up digesting some of the chemicals while playing.
After a fertilization treatment, it’s best to wait until the lawn has gotten a good watering or a solid rainfall, and then wait yet another 24-72 hours before letting them back on the lawn.
Usually, organic fertilizer doesn’t pose as much of a risk to children, but we still recommend keeping children away until it’s been absorbed into the soil.
Recommended Time to Keep Pets & Children off Herbicide-Treated Lawns & What Herbicides Are Used for
For both pets and children, it’s recommended to keep them off your lawn once it’s been treated with herbicides. Herbicides can stick around for a few days, so 72 hours is a safe time frame to keep your children and pets off the lawn. Using these products helps your lawn flourish and keeps those pesky weeds from growing in places where you don’t want to see them.
To see the best results, herbicide should be applied in pre-emergent treatments during the spring and fall. These are created to target weeds and are applied in your lawn and landscaping beds during your fertilizing sessions.
Call us for a quote on fertilization and weed control applications done by our professional crew.
Applying fertilizer and herbicide is vital to creating that healthy lawn in which your kids and pets can play. These products can give your lawn a lush, green look and feel that your kids, pets, and you will love! Just make sure to follow all the safety precautions, and you will be prepared for any potential issues.
It’s important to protect your kids and pets from fertilizer chemicals, but you should also protect yourself! Trust a professional crew like J&C Lawn Care to safely apply fertilizer and herbicide to your lawn. If your property is located in or around Happy Valley, Troutdale, or Gresham, OR, call us at (971) 284-2035 to get a quote today!