Question Title

* 1. Please choose the best answer that describes your knowledge of the Massachusetts Nutrient Regulations 330 CMR 31(Fertilizer Regulations) prior to taking the quiz:

Question Title

* 2. The Massachusetts fertilizer regulations apply to:

Question Title

* 3. The Massachusetts fertilizer regulations apply to all properties, even single family house lots.  If you own a home and fertilize your lawn, you are NOT exempt from most of the requirements of the regulations.  So buckle down, listen up, and read carefully...because the regulations most likely affect YOU ! 

Ok, so here's the next question:

The N-P-K analysis (example 28-0-3) printed on a bag of fertilizer represents what?

Question Title

* 4. The N-P-K analysis represents the % by weight of Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium present in the particular bag of fertilizer you are looking at.  For example, a 50 pound bag of fertilizer with a rating of 28-0-3 would indicate that 14 pounds of it is nitrogen (0.28 x 50lbs), it has zero pounds of phosphorus, and 1.5 pounds of it is potassium (0.03 x 50lbs).  This is important because it is the only way you can determine how much nutrient you are applying to the lawn, and whether or not you are breaking the laws on phosphorus application.

Ok, let's get to the next question:

Harry has an existing lawn and really wants to boost its growth to be the envy of his neighborhood.  He purchases a bag of starter fertilizer at the hardware store, because it has an N-P-K analysis of 24-10-10 and he knows phosphorus is good for root growth.  Harry has never had a soil test performed to check the available nutrients already in his soil. If Harry applies starter fertilizer to his existing established lawn, is he breaking the law?

Question Title

* 5. Believe it or not, Harry is INDEED breaking the law.  One of the main points of the Massachusetts fertilizer regulations is to reduce the amount of unnecessary phosphorus being overused by homeowners and landscapers on residential and commercial properties.  Phosphorus leaching and runoff can lead to algae blooms and eutrophication in nearby water bodies, depleting the water of the oxygen necessary to support fish and other aquatic habitat.  Unless you perform a soil test that indicates your soils are phosphorus deficient, or unless you are starting grass from seed, it is AGAINST THE REGULATIONS to use fertilizer containing phosphorus!  

Ok, while we're on the topic of phosphorus, let's get to the next question:

According to the regulations, retailers selling fertlizers MUST:

Question Title

* 6. This is actually a trick question.  Both B and C are correct.  Hardware stores and other fertilizer retailers MUST keep phosphorus containing fertilizers separate from non-phosphorus containing fertilizers, AND they must post information on the nutrient regulations which list when phosphorus can be used (establishing new lawn, patching, or renovating).

Which leads us to the final quiz question:

Tom wants to get the most for his dollar, so he buys the fertilizer with the highest Nitrogen percentage he can find.  The more nitrogen the better, he figures.  He purchases a bag containing 38-0-3.  Is Tom breaking the law?

Question Title

* 7. The Massachusetts nutrient regulations also regulate the use of nitrogen.  The regulations state that the use of nutrients shall not exceed the UMASS guidelines for plant applications to turf.  Generally speaking, the required nitrogen rates for turf are 2 to 4 pounds of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet of lawn, per year.  So Tom's fate depends on the size of his lawn.  It's also important to know that plants in New England tend to be nitrogen deficient due to an abundance of sandy soils, and therefore have evolved to uptake as much nitrogen as possible when they see it available.  Sometimes, they will prefer to uptake extra nitrogen at the expense of other vital micro-nutrients.  Yes, your grass will be temporarily greener as a result, but the plant's long term health, disease resistance, and drought tolerance may suffer as a result.  So no Tom, more isn't always better, and you may even be wasting your money on extra nitrogen.

Feel educated?...we're hoping so!

Now that the quiz is over, please choose the best answer that describes you: