Read the story in Mike's article about the guy who got snookered into a poisoned lawn.
How do you avoid this? It's not foolproof but...
NO LONG TERM CONTRACTS
If somebody tries to get you to sign a long term yard care or tree care contract, get the hardcopy.
Take it to a lawyer.
Look for a paragraph which lets you opt out of any job.
Without paying as if it had been done.
When the July or August drought comes, this means you won't have to let the contractor run a mower over grass that isn't growing.
And pay for it whether he did the work or not.
On days when he shouldn't be using the mower anyway due to bad air quality.
It's like a car. When you take your car in for work, there should be a written form.
Somewhere on the form it says "I DO DO NOT authorize additional work."
If the landscape contract does not allow you to opt out of work, DON'T SIGN.
If somebody tells you your trees need work, get their business card.
Look for their state tree expert license number.
If it doesn't have one, email your State Ag agency with the name and contact info on the card.
If it does, have them provide you with a written contract for the specific work.
MAKE SURE THERE'S AN OPT OUT FOR OTHER WORK AND USE IT.
That was the mistake of the guy in Mike's article who wound up with the poisoned property.
Make the contractor provide you with a list of every chemical he plans to use.
The list has to have the street name and the chemical name.
ASK FOR THE EPA REPORT ON EVERY CHEMICAL.
If the EPA says a landscape chemical is carcinogenic, don't sign the contract.
Example: if somebody wants you to pay them to use Roundup on your property,
DON'T hire them. Monsanto is facing lawsuits from farmers with cancer whom they forced to use Roundup as part of the warranty on GMO seeds.
Now the other problem Mike talks about, the lawn care product with the illegal nitrogen content.
STORES ARE IN BUSINESS TO MOVE GOODS AND GET MONEY.
They will tell you anything they have to.
They will tell you uncomposted hardware mulch is good for trees; it's not.
They will sell lawn care products that are illegal in your state.
YES, ask for their recommendation.
Make them show you the bag.
Take pictures of the numbers on the bag and the name of the product.
Look up Mike's article and also his article on potash and phosphorus.
If the label has illegal numbers on it, email the state Department of Natural Resources.
Send them the photos.
Send them the name of the store.
Use the store website locator to find the store number and address.
Put that in your email.
Stores selling illegal products need attention from the state DNR.
Mike has decades of experience with inexpensive ways of keeping your landscape healthy and poison free.
Go to his You Bet Your Garden archives online, find the problem you have, and fix it.
There is no individual or company who will do things so cheaply or so poison free.
You will wind up paying more than you have to for work you didn't need done that uses illegal products or poisons your landscape, your pets, your children.
Do it yourself.
The right way.
© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved