Trout Friendly Lawn Care is a relatively new thing to Jackson Hole. I get a lot of questions about what it is, what it isn’t, what it’s for etc. Valley Landscape Service has been a Trout Friendly certified landscaper since the first year in 2020 and won the Trout Friendly Landscaper of the year.
Without re-creating the wheel of what Trout Friendly Lawn Care is, click this link and read all about it on the JH Clean Water website before you read any more here. https://jhcleanwater.org/initiatives/trout-friendly-lawns/
Despite the many positive environmental attributes of turf grass (topic for a future blog post), lawn care has historically been one of the largest contributors to ground and surface water contamination and is the largest water user in urban settings. To my knowledge there is no widely accepted Best Practice guide to environmentally conscience (trout friendly) lawn care. DIY homeowners are limited to what can be bought at Home Depot or the corner hardware store and most homeowners don’t take a course in agronomy to make sure they aren’t harming their soil or water. Sadly many lawn care professionals (not all) are motivated by profit and have very little accountability for what happens under and around the properties they maintain. As long as the lawn looks great they get paid and they fall into the the trap of “fertilize more so we can mow more and make more money”. And who doesn’t want their lawn to look lush, green, and manicured? A perfect lawn makes you feel good and gives a sense of security and control much like a clean kitchen or an organized garage. So the overwhelming majority of neighborhoods are in pursuit of perfect lawns and a lawn care industry worth billions is born.
These are the reasons I’ve been on board with the Trout Friendly Lawns program since the beginning. They have done a great job educating the public on the threats facing our valley’s water and what can be done about it. Creating the Certified Landscapers program brings all the landscapers who are willing to participate into alignment with best practices that are good for the community.
We still offer traditional lawn care programs that provide a lush and dense lawn (which is actually good for weed control…another future blog post), control broadleaf weeds like dandelions and others but we attempt to always follow the the best practices outlined in the Trout Friendly Lawns program. All the fertilizers we use whether organic or not fall into the Trout Friendly category because they are a controlled and slow release of Nitrogen, zero Phosphorus and they are sourced as responsibly as possible taking into consideration renewable resources and location. We also use micronutrients, humics, and a high C:N ratio to maximize the natural nutrient potential in the soil so we can apply fewer pounds of Nitrogen per year.
A perfect lawn doesn’t always mean more fertilizer. Starting with the building blocks of healthy soil and proper water management is good for you, good for the fish and good for the community. That is why you should hire Valley Landscape Service for your lawn care needs.