In Massachusetts anyone applying any kind of pesticide for hire must be licensed by the State. Massachusetts also has clear advertising guidelines regarding lawncare. One of the most obvious is the word "safe". In the Commonwealth it is illegal to use the word "safe" on any piece of advertising for a product or service that includes pesticides.
Homeowners should ask to see a pesticide license. Anyone who applies any form of pesticide for hire must be licensed by the State of Massachusetts. Any product with (EPGA REG) on the container is a pesticide. Included are insecticides, herbicides, biological controls, weed and feed products, organic pesticides and controls, fungicides and weed killers.
Homeowners should ask what types of programs offered.
Most professional lawn care providers in Massachusetts offer alternative lawn programs that include strictly organic programs and more often a mix of traditional and organic programs.
Homeowners, however, should have a realistic approach to maintaining a lawn without using pesticides. There may be more weeds, an occasional brown spot or other imperfections. These types of problems can be reduced through the use of proper cultural practices. A properly maintained lawn will be vigorous and more tolerant of lawn pests in general.
The four major cool-season grasses for home lawns in Massachusetts include:
Kentucky bluegrass and perennial ryegrass require high maintenance such as regular fertilizing and adequate water. Fine fescue are a group of fescue including chewings, creeping red and hard fescue. Fine leaf fescue perform well under low maintenance situations and should be considered for use when looking for a low maintenance lawn grass. Tall fescue is another lower maintenance grass but does not perform as well as the fine fescue under very low maintenance.
Promoting healthy growth and avoiding conditions that cause stress to your turfgrass is the best way to prevent a severe disease outbreak. Stressed lawns are an open invitation for a lawn disease to gain a foothold. Optimal maintenance practices are the best way of avoiding stressed turfgrass.
Even if a pathogen is present in the soil, infection will not occur unless the environmental conditions are conducive to disease development. Once turf diseases have become active, they can cause heavy damage if not treated properly. Here is a list of common diseases to Massachusetts lawns:
Professional Organizations: Massachusetts Association of Lawn Care Professionals and the New England Regional Turfgrass Foundation