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4 Safety Tips for Using Lawn Fertilizer

by Shannon Lee, All About Lawns Columnist

Spreading lawn fertilizer is a chore millions of homeowners embrace every year. In fact, lawn fertilizer has become such a common product, sometimes it is hard to remember that it is actually a chemical that can be dangerous if used improperly. That's why it's so important to keep safety in mind when working around lawn fertilizers.

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Stay Safe with Lawn Fertilizer

Keep your family, pets, and neighbors safe from harsh chemicals. Brush up on these safety tips before it's time to fertilize your lawn again:

  • The most basic safety tenant for using fertilizer is the same as that of many other chemicals--store it in a cool, dry place, far out of the reach of children. If you store fertilizer in a garage or shed, keep it on a high shelf. Better yet, eliminate the chance for problems by locking the door that leads to the chemical storage.
  • Always use gloves when handling fertilizer. The nitrogen in the fertilizer can cause a chemical burn, and it especially hurts if you have even the smallest cut or scrape. If you get fertilizer on your hands, wash them immediately under running water. If any redness or burning occurs, call your doctor.
  • Keep in mind that lawn fertilizers can leach into the groundwater, so apply only what you need, and no more. Take further steps to keep others safe by telling your neighbors about the application, and be sure to keep children and pets off the grass until you have thoroughly watered the fertilizer--or until a rainstorm has taken care of that job for you.
  • Finally, read the instructions! Sit down and read the application directions every time you fertilize in order to understand your task and handle it properly.


About the Author

Shannon Dauphin is a freelance writer based near Nashville, Tennessee. Her house was built in 1901, so home repair and renovation have become her hobbies.


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