CONWAY — Clemson Cooperative Extension is offering a workshop designed to help green industry professionals better manage landscapes through smart fertilization and soil improvement.

Workshop flyer

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“Smart Fertilization and Soil Improvement: Investing in the Landscape from the Ground Up” will be from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Nov. 7 at the Horry County Extension Office, 1949 Industrial Park Road in Conway.

The cost is $40 per person with lunch provided. Advance registration by Oct. 31 is required. Register online at https://tinyurl.com/smartfertilization. For more information, contact Lott at 843-269-5904 or terasa@clemson.edu.

The event aims to connect landscape professionals with local Clemson personnel and resources as well as increase soil testing and decrease phosphorous use in the industry. That would result in increased profitability through science-based fertilizer application and better protection of local water quality.

“This workshop is designed for on-the-ground professionals who are going to people’s yards and mowing and applying fertilizer,” said Terasa Lott, state coordinator of Clemson Extension’s South Carolina Master Gardener Program. “We want to encourage smart fertilization and investing in the soil. The soil is the foundation of any landscape, yet it’s often overlooked. Less phosphorous use — only using what’s needed — should save them money but also protect our local water quality.”

Phosphates are the primary limiting factor in freshwater plant and algal growth, and when too much nitrogen and phosphorus enter the environment — usually from a wide range of human activities — the air and water can become polluted.

Nutrient pollution has impacted many streams, rivers, lakes, bays and coastal waters for the past several decades, resulting in serious environmental and human health issues and impacting the economy, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Speakers at the workshop will include a business owner from a landscape company in Horry County who will give a testimonial about the importance of soil testing and basing fertilizer application on the results of those tests, a representative from the S.C. Department of Pesticide Regulation on the rules and regulations regarding pesticide application, Extension agents and associate professor Juang-Horng Chong from Clemson’s Pee Dee Research and Education Center on how nitrogen fertilizer can influence soil and pest issues.

The workshop will also feature outdoor activities, including a demonstration with a rainfall simulator provided by the S.C. Department of Natural Resources.