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HomeFeaturesCrawford FeaturesKeep our lakes and rivers clean; Change your fertilizer

Keep our lakes and rivers clean; Change your fertilizer

NORTHERN MICHIGAN – What you put on your waterfront lawn can affect the quality of the lakes and streams of the area. Homeowners can help keep Michigan’s lakes clean by using phosphorus free fertilizer.

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) said when excess phosphorus is applied on land, it may run into nearby lakes, rivers, and streams.

 “Phosphorus run-off can lead to increased algae and aquatic plant growth which could have negative effects on water quality, fisheries, and recreation,” said Mike Philip, MDARD’s Pesticide and Plant Pest Management Division Director.

In general, most established lawns and plants do not require additional phosphorus for healthy growth. When purchasing lawncare products, consumers should review the product’s label and ensure the product is phosphorus free.

“Although phosphorus can be used to help establish new lawns and plants, consumers must always carefully follow label directions to avoid run-off,” added Philip. “By limiting unnecessary phosphorus applications, we can help maintain and protect our vast water resources.”

Other steps you can take to protect water quality include:

Follow Michigan’s phosphorus-free requirements.

  • Do not leave fertilizer material on an impervious surface (driveways, sidewalks, patios, etc.) following an application.
  • Sweep the fertilizer back onto the lawn or turf to be utilized rather than potentially running off into a storm drain.
  • Keep leaves and lawn clippings out of your gutters, streets, and ditches.
    Never wash or blow soil or grass clippings into the street.
  • Pick up pet waste promptly. Pet waste can contain harmful bacteria as well as nutrients that cause excess algae and weed growth in lakes and rivers.
  • Help control soil erosion. When left bare, soil is easily washed away with rain, carrying phosphorus with it. Soil erosion can be prevented by keeping soil covered with vegetation or mulch.
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