Anyone that’s worked with plants will tell you how invaluable fertilizer is as a tool. Growing and feeding your plants is so much easier with a good fertilizer.
But without proper disposal, fertilizer can pour into waterways. The resulting nutrient pollution can wreak havoc on the area, resulting in algal blooms taking over. For this reason, properly controlling fertilizer runoff is critical to environmental safety.
How do you properly control runoff? Let’s take a look at some safety measures you should be taking.
How to Properly Control Fertilizer Runoff
There are many reasons why you may experience fertilizer runoff. Improper disposal of leftovers after gardening or lawn care can cause the fertilizer to make a path into waterways. Grass trimmings and other remnants can carry fertilizer on or in them. If they make their way into bodies of water, the fertilizer chemicals will leech out into the water.
One of the best ways to prevent nutrient pollution is simply to properly clean up after lawn or garden care. Carefully dispose of lawn trimmings, branches, and other debris that may contain fertilizer chemicals. And always properly dispose of your fertilizer containers after use.
Another quick and easy tip is to allow your grass to grow slightly thicker and taller than you might normally expect. Thick grass is better at trapping water. The thick network of roots absorbs more water runoff. This helps minimize the amount of water that escapes your yard in the first place and minimizes the fertilizer that ends up in local waterways.
The Problem With Algal Blooms
Algae is a natural part of most marine ecosystems. But left unchecked, algae growths can deprive the water of much-needed oxygen. This oxygen would otherwise be used to help sustain plant and animal life in the water. Out of control algae growths are what we refer to as algal blooms.
Algal blooms can wreak havoc on an ecosystem. This is especially true if large amounts of algae are not normally native to the waterway.
This can have far-reaching effects not just on the body of water, but on other ecosystems that depend on the water. Algal blooms can cause huge disruptions in the surrounding environment.
For this reason, it’s important to practice safe practices when using fertilizer in your lawn or garden. Another great thing to do is to educate yourself on the growth and behavior of algae. Algae Barn offers tanks you can purchase that simulate the water ecosystem. Grow some algae in them yourself, and see how unchecked algae quickly dominates its surroundings.
Safely Dispose of Fertilizer
Fertilizer runoff is one of the major causes of algal bloom in modern ecosystems. It’s a major problem, but it’s also a preventable one. With a little bit of care, you can do your part to prevent it. So take care to properly dispose of your fertilizer, and to take measures to prevent runoff.
Are you passionate about making the planet a cleaner place? Be sure to check out our other articles for more information on safe environmental practices.