Round Up. Is it safe?

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Below you will find the statement released regarding Roundup. Brummel Lawn does use it in landscape beds and hard surface sprays. All of our applicators follow label rate and label requirement to ensure we are using the product safely. With us being part of the NALP (Nation Association of Landscape Professionals) we continue to educate ourselves and our customers on issues and concerns in our field!  Here is some more information on it, that should help with any concerns.

–   Nick Brummel

NALP Member Bulletin: Statement Regarding Monsanto Roundup Court Case

On Friday, August 10, 2018, a San Francisco jury ruled that Roundup® weed killer, consisting of the active ingredient glyphosate, caused terminal non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in a former school groundskeeper. The jury awarded the plaintiff $289 million in damages. Defendant, Bayer unit Monsanto, has signaled that they plan to appeal the decision and defend their product through the California state court appeals process.

NALP is committed to educating the landscape workforce, customers and the general public about the safe use of lawn and landscape products. It is possible that you may have questions or will receive questions from your employees, customers, the general public or the media regarding this recent jury decision and the safety of Roundup® or glyphosate. Please use the following facts as a reference and information to provide to your employees and customers as we continue to closely monitor the ongoing litigation.

Here are some facts about glyphosate:
• Glyphosate is the most commonly used herbicide in the world and has been used safely for more than 40 years by agricultural and landscape professionals to control broadleaf weeds and grasses. It is used in products such as Roundup®.
• Glyphosate is one of the most widely used and effective tool the landscape industry uses to protect green spaces and to control weeds and other invasive species that can exacerbate allergies, spread diseases and cripple landscapes.
• Researchers have conducted more than 800 scientific studies and reviews validating glyphosate’s safety since it was introduced in the 1970s.
• In May 2018, a study published by the U.S. National Institutes of Health reaffirmed there is not a statistically significant association between glyphosate use and cancer.
• The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is statutorily mandated under the Federal Insecticide and Fungicide Act (FIFRA) to conduct reviews of all approved pesticide and herbicide products. FIFRA provides federal regulation of pesticide distribution, sale and use. Any pesticide registered under FIFRA, including glyphosate, must show that using the product according to specifications will not cause unreasonable adverse effects on the environment or to human health.
• In December 2017, after conducting an extensive registration review of glyphosate the EPA released a draft risk assessment, which concluded that glyphosate is not likely to be carcinogenic to humans, and found no other meaningful risks to human health when the product is used safely and properly, according to label instructions.
• The EPA’s recent reevaluation of glyphosate was presented to the FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP). The SAP provides independent scientific advice to the EPA on health and safety issues related to pesticides. The FIFRA SAP is comprised of biologists, statisticians, toxicologists and other experts. The independent SAP agreed with EPA’s risk assessments and conclusions that glyphosate is not likely carcinogenic.
• Roundup® and many other products containing glyphosate are currently registered and approved by the EPA and all 50 states lead pesticide regulatory agencies and remain legal to use when used in a manner consistent with label instructions.
• During the evaluation of glyphosate EPA worked closely with their Canadian counterpart Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) in concluding that glyphosate is unlikely to be carcinogenic or cause unreasonable risks to humans when used in according to label instructions. Other regulatory authorities around the globe in Europe, Japan, Korea and Australia, have also consistently reaffirmed that glyphosate is not carcinogenic.
• In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified glyphosate as a probable carcinogen. However, the IARC is not a regulatory agency and did not conduct independent studies before making this designation. Follow-up investigative reports of this designation found that IARC concealed important scientific data and edited conclusions from key studies of glyphosate.

Ensuring the safety, health and well-being of our members, their employees, the general public and the environment is the top priority of NALP. Our association fully supports documented research conducted by regulatory bodies and the established framework for the regulation of pesticides in the United States through FIFRA, and we continually and closely monitor for regulatory and research developments. The EPA and the 50 state pesticide lead regulatory agencies are our pesticide regulators and the landscape industry will continue to comply with all federal and state law that is supported by their review process, science, evaluation, decision and enforcement pursuant to FIFRA.

NALP understands the important role glyphosate plays in managing landscapes and delivering crops, and we are committed to promoting and ensuring its safe and effective use. NALP members are licensed and certified pesticide applicators that use glyphosate and other products in a safe and environmentally responsible manner.



Fall Fertilizer

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Its Fall should I fertilize?

Yes! The Fall is the best time to feed your plants! That includes your turf as well as the plants in your landscapes.  This article will review both landscaping and turf.

Landscape Plants and Trees

Fall fertilizer in the landscape beds will help the plants come out of the winter quicker and be less stressed.

  1. The first way to get the fertilizer to the plant the quickest is early Fall with leaves still on the plant, to spray a foliar application. Miracle-Gro is an example of a foliar application, but we would recommend a stronger application. The current application that we have been using on our newly planted plants and seasonal color is Macron and its 16-32-16. This is a well balanced fertilizer with Nitrogen (16%), Phosphorus (32%) which in most cases is lacking in the soil and will help build stronger roots, and Potassium (16%) will help with chlorophyll in the leaves.
  2. The second way to get fertilizer to the plants is a granular application that the roots will uptake. We normally will do this the first part of November, so that some will be in the soil in the Spring for the plant to grab and the rest will be taken up by the plant in the Fall and will store it and use it though the winter. This as well will help the plant spring into Spring! The product that we are looking at using in the landscape beds this fall is very similar to the product that we are applying to the lawns right now!

Again going with the theme of the season, with the wet weather and the soil getting leached out with all the rain, now is the time to put some nutrients back in the ground!


For turf 75% of the Nitrogen should be put down in the Fall.  Again with all the rain you might have noticed that green isn’t as dark green as normal.  Normally, we apply about 25% of your yearly Nitrogen (N) to the yard in the Spring, as we normally have surplus in the ground from the previous Fall.  This year our surplus got used up, so this Fall we are going strong.  Our early Fall application is going to put about 1 pound of N back into the soil/turf! That is about ¼ of a pound more than normal.  But with this application it will be 50% slow release so that grass doesn’t just spring out of the ground,  and will keep feeding, until we do the late Fall which is all mineral and will put 1.25 pounds of N back in, for the quicker green up in the Spring, and a thicker healthier turf. On an average year, cool season turf (Blue Grass and Fescue) should receive 2-2.5 lbs of N per year.  Studies have shown that once you get over 3 lbs. per year you are increasing your chance of fungus!



Watering Landscaping

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If it’s new landscaping watering the correct way is very important. Brummel Lawn will water plants when planted, but after that the responsibility goes to the owner. There are three different ways to get it watered; irrigation spray heads, irrigation drip lines and hand watering. Below you will read the pros and cons of each. We will also address how long you should be running the water.

Irrigation Spray Heads

We normally have irrigation spray heads set up to run three times a week for 10 minutes. If it’s the heat of the summer we will increase to four times a week. With existing landscaping, in the spring we tell people they won’t need to water. However, in the heat of the summer one good soaking a week for about 10-15 minutes would be best and will also help concrete foundations. The pros to the spray heads are that you can see the water and see the coverage that it is giving to the plants. With spray heads it will also water areas other than just where the plants are located. For foundations that can be a good thing with hot dry summers or if you decide to add more plants it will also be easier to just adjust a head then move drip lines. A con is that if you water everything it can possibly cause a weed problem in mulch beds and some rock beds.


Irrigation Drip Lines

Normally we set drip line systems or zones to run two times per week for 45-60 minutes, with the heat of the summer you could increase to three times a week. For existing landscaping once a week during the peak of the summer will maintain your plants. This might seem like a lot of time, however the water drip is very slow coming out of the line which allows the soil/plant to soak in the water. With drip lines you are able to target just the plant that you want to water and even loop the line around the root system of the plant. With drip lines you don’t have as much of an issue to over watering areas that you don’t want to or run off. The few drawbacks of drip lines are you can’t see the water. This can be a problem, because you can’t tell if the plants are not getting water as well as if there is a leak and just flooding the area. The other issue is if you add plants, then the drip lines have to be expanded or re-routed. On the flip side if the line is run around a plant that you want to remove the drip line from you have to figure out a way to make sure the line continues.

Hand Watering

This is the simplest way and a great way to make sure it gets done correctly. With new plants a simple 10 count per plant is about perfect, again this would need to be done about three times per week and four times in the heat of the summer. With regard to trees 15-20 count is recommended. The down fall to not having an automatic system is we all get busy and can forget to water plants until it’s too late and the plants are gone.
All three ways of watering will work, but even with the auto system, checking plants to make sure they are not getting over-watered is important as well. More plants die because of over-watering than under-watering and will drown as the roots can’t get air to allow the plant to breath.


Are all Landscape Plant Materials The Same?

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The simple answer is NO!

I hear all the time from people “why don’t you get your plants from the big box store” (they normally use the name of the store but for legal reasons we will just use box store) or from the Membership Stores.


Yes, we could purchase them from there and save ourselves lots of money, but the quality is not the same.  The plants that we purchase or the plants  we recommend that you purchase are certified nursery stock.  I was at one of the membership stores over the weekend and they had 3 gal azalea for $10.99!!! The plant looks great from the naked eye, but once you start examining the plant the quality was jut not there.


So with that said, if you are looking for average planting material then those places will do.  Brummel Lawn tries to provide the upmost quality in the plant material we install and plant material that we recommend to our customers if they are installing them for themselves. The pants that the local nurseries have are more expensive, but they are normally healthier, older so they have a better root system, and are either grown in this area or are grown for our area.  With the other places they are ordered in bulk so their Colorado and Blue Spring, MO stores will more than likely be getting the same type of plants.  Also its not from a local grower.


We believe in the local nurseries so much so that when we buy from them wholesale we don’t get a warranty. Therefore, if the plant dies after we plant them in your home, we are the ones paying to replant them. Therefore, we won’t plant anything that we don’t feel would make it or shouldn’t be planted in that area.


As a retail customer both the box store and nurseries do give a one year warranty.  However, with the box store they only have plants in the Spring and Fall, while nurseries will keep getting shipments in all season and will be able to get the certain type plant that you originally purchased again, while the box store might just give you your money back!


Getting your money back is great, but if you have a row of plants with a hole in that area and you are unable to get a matching replacement, more than likely you will have to replace them all so they match. If we do the landscaping and the original planting your warranty for that first year comes with a one time replacement of the plant and the labor to remove and replace.  Last year we had a 96% success rate on plants living, so that means we only had to replace 4%!  That is due to the quality of the plant, proper placement of the plant and the fact they were installed correctly!




When should I mulch? Spring? Fall? Or Both?

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In Kansas City every spring we mulch our beds with a “top dress”.
 The question we have been asked, Why? or When? Should I mulch in the spring only? or should I do it two times and do it in the fall also?


Lets start with the first question, Why?
Nothing looks better than a freshly mulched property.   The dark mulch really makes everything pop.  It will also help keep the weeds down with a 2-3 inch layer of mulch.

With the sun hitting the mulch and with rain and irrigation mulch does fade out, breaks down and washes away causing just mud for some landscape beds come spring time.


By mid summer the color will fade and you have three options:  one, to top dress again; two, spray dye to bring back color (we have done this before with mix reviews) or three, just leave it.  There are pros and cons to each.  Budget and appearance are the major ones.  Some years the initial mulching lasts longer than others.


We would highly suggest definitely mulching in the spring, as we said before it gives you fresh color and keeps the weeds down.


After years of mulch build up, you will need to look at scrapping the mulch and compost (soil from the mulch breaking down) off.  When you do this it will lower the levels back below the walks and down off the building.  After this is done you would be a complete new mulching (adding 2 inches of mulch).


Give us a call for a FREE evaluation and prices of your mulching needs!