People can help reduce phosphorus runoff into lakes and rivers by:
* Making sure gutters, driveways and curbs are kept free of tree leaves, grass clippings and excess fertilizer. In a University of Minnesota study, phosphorus levels were 30 to 40 percent less than in areas where no sweeping occurred. Phosphorus is abundant in plant material.
* If a soil test indicates phosphorus is needed, mix phosphorus into the soil about four to six inches deep rather than applying it to the surface. This reduces the chances for phosphorus to move into lakes and streams. For new lawns and gardens, a core aerator can be used before phosphorus is applied so the fertilizer can enter the soil.
(Source: Crow Wing County)
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