In the past, we’ve discussed on our blog how beneficial lawn care can be for the environment and the quality of our Hometurf products, but today we’re going to go more in-depth into a topic that applies to both of those areas: phosphorus free fertilizer.
At Hometurf Lawn Care, we choose not to use phosphorus in our fertilizer. There are several reasons that we’ve made this choice, but to better understand them, we’ll walk you through phosphorus’ role in a fertilizer.
Phosphorus is related to how your grass is able to store and use energy; essentially its abilities in photosynthesis. Overall, it has a direct impact on root, leaf and the overall growth of your grass. However, we choose not to use fertilizers that use the element because the negative environmental effects it has on our ecosystem far outweigh any positives for your lawn.
The biggest issue with phosphorus is it can build up for long periods of time in your soil and then start leaching into nearby bodies of water.
When this happens, the phosphorus can create harmful algae blooms through a process called cultural eutrophication. Here is a quick explanation from the Government of Canada about how excess phosphorus affects our great lakes:
“Some areas of the Great Lakes have more phosphorus than they need to be healthy, and intervention is required to reduce phosphorus back to appropriate levels. When the balance is lost and phosphorus levels are too high, the excess phosphorus contributes to excess algae growth. Certain types of blue-green algae like Microcystis and other species may produce toxins that are harmful to both humans and wildlife. Furthermore, this creates mats of floating or attached algae that form unattractive green tints, slimes or threads and are often quite odorous. When the algae die, the mats sink to the lake bottom and decay, creating low-oxygen conditions that are fatal to fish and some aquatic organisms.”
As a part of the community that has a big impact on this environmental issue, we felt it important to use a phosphorus free fertilizer. Honestly, most of the soil in our area holds enough phosphorus to grow very healthily, so it hasn’t been an issue at all. In fact, a recent CBC investigation reports that soil holds phosphorus for even longer than we thought.
Even if you don’t use our services, we recommend you check what fertilizer is being used on your lawn, because it can have a bigger impact than many think.