I recently attended a zero-phosphorus class held by Cornell University, Cooperative Extension. Since 2009, there’s been talk among county board legislators about the concern of phosphorus in our water supply. Effective January 2012, the state of New York will ban the use of phosphorus on all lawn fertilizers. Environmental officials say phosphorus can run off the lawn before penetrating into the soil. That means that the water containing phosphorous enters our storm drains, lakes, reservoirs, and ponds creating algae. Algae has toxins and causes a decrease of oxygen which in turn will decrease our fish population. A ten year study conducted by Cornell confirmed that our lawns are already phosphorous-rich. Minnesota was the only state that enacted the zero phosphorus ban in 2007. Vermont, Maine, and Florida and other states are following suit.
Here are some articles relating to the ban:
So which number in the bag represents phosphorus?
Each fertilizer has three distinct numbers which represent the weight of each nutrient. The first number is nitrogen, the second number is phosphorus, and the third number is potassium. Nitrogen helps promote color, phosphorus helps promote strong root growth, and potassium helps grass withstand stress.
The only time that phosphorus will be required and approved by the state is when you are establishing a new lawn. If a soil test is required feel free to contact us. The results take between 7 – 10 days and the proper amount will be recommended.
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