Healthy Virginia Lawns

Yes, you can have a healthier, greener lawn while also improving the Chesapeake Bay watershed and reducing pollutants.

Most of us habitually trek to the store each spring or when our grass looks like it’s declining, scan the bagged products on the shelf and select what we hope will result in a lusher, greener lawn. Results rarely meet our expectations and create the unfortunate side effect of excessive fertilizer (nitrogen and phosphorus) running off or leaching into nearby streams and rivers. Algae blooms, fueled by these excess nutrients, consume oxygen in the water, block sunlight, suffocate aquatic life and prevent underwater plants from photosynthesizing.

There is a better way. Healthy Virginia Lawns (HVL) volunteers visit your property, complete a site analysis of your yard, measure the area of turfgrass and collect a representative soil sample.  The sample is mailed to Virginia Tech where it is tested and a comprehensive analysis produced. 

The HVL team interprets this report and provides a detailed Nutrient Management Plan for your lawn which is sent via email.  The plan clearly states the nutrient applications your lawn does, and does not, need and includes a detailed schedule on when to apply recommended nutrients for best results. By following your customized plan, you save time and money buying and applying only the applications your turfgrass needs while helping to build a healthier Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Ready to schedule your visit?

There is a $30 charge for this service which funds soil sample analysis fees, postage/shipping supply costs and equipment necessary for soil collection.

Your request is considered submitted when both steps listed below are completed. After your check is received at our Extension Office, a Healthy Virginia Lawns volunteer will contact you to schedule your appointment for soil sample collection. Spring and early summer are when we receive most soil sample requests. We do our best to contact you promptly, but the volume of requests will determine response time.

STEP ONE: Please complete this Healthy Virginia Lawns Request Form

STEP TWO: Mail a check for $30.00 made payable to LCMGA and noted “HVL” on the memo line to:

HVL Request - LCMGA
Virginia Cooperative Extension/Loudoun Office  
PO Box 4020
Leesburg VA 20177

In some cases, varying conditions may indicate the need for an additional sampling on a specific area. If so, our field technician will consult with the homeowner first. (Additional tests are $15 each.)

What clients are saying:

“Thank you for the detailed report on our lawn that will help us maintain it in a responsible way.”

 “This is an excellent program and is making a large impact on sustainable lawn maintenance, certainly from my personal experience. We appreciate all the dedicated individuals supporting this initiative and the great work you do.”


Learn from the experts and keep our watershed clean from pollutants.

Keeping Brambleton Beautiful: a video about best practices
Best Practices video
All the details about Loudoun’s Healthy Virginia Lawns program in a printable PDF
HVL brochure 2018
Research Based Lawn Care Publications
Lawn Resources from Cooperative Extension
Selecting a Lawn Service

Turf Tips