Riparian Tip Sheet: What Can You Do To Be “Phosphorus Smart”? (E3135)
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What can you do to be “phosphorus smart”?
Phosphorus (P) is a nutrient that stimulates plant growth. When it rains, storm water can carry phosphorus-containing materials into lakes and streams, which can result in excessive algal growth, decreased water quality and harm to aquatic life.
Don’t guess, soil test
- Your Michigan State University Extension office can help with your soil test.
- Most lawns don’t require P fertilizer. Use zero P unless a soil test shows need.
- Sweep fertilizers off sidewalks and driveways.
- Maintain a “no application” zone near the water’s edge.
Prevent soil erosion
- Maintain a dense lawn or other vegetation to reduce water runoff.
- Establish a native plant buffer along the shoreline.
Keep leaves away from the lake
- Don’t burn or compost near the shoreline.
Pump out your septic tank every three to five years