Yesterday I noticed by neighbor spreading fertilizer on his lawn which prompted me to write about America’s overuse of phosphorus as a soil amendment for our lawns, gardens and crops. Use of phosphorus gives a boost to the growth of our food, our perennials, our lawns — but it also comes at a higher cost than just the dollars and cents used to purchase it.
The runoff from rain picks up the phosphorus and sends it into our streams and lakes. There, just like it augments plants in the ground, it enhances the growth of algae in our waterways.
The phosphorus taken up by the food we eat and the pretty plants in our gardens may not run off, but it typically isn’t returned to the soil either. Instead it flows to our sanitary sewage systems or is discarded in some landfill.
Limiting the use of phosphorus would be a big step toward healing the Earth. Caring communities have established ordinances limiting its use. Wouldn’t it be grand if others would, too?
New research sheds light on environmental impact of fertilizer use, phosphorus accumulation.
Canada and USA target 40% phosphorus reduction to improve Lake Erie water quality.
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