What is Fertilizer Runoff?

Fertilizer runoff occurs when the ground gets more water than it can absorb and it washes away. This is bad because it can contaminate water sources with undesirable algae and weeds.

How do you prevent fertilizer runoff?

  • Use a slow-release nitrogen fertilizer. They provide a more controlled release of nitrogen, which limits the amount that leaches into groundwater.
  • Use iron over nitrogen. Iron promotes the same greening effect as nitrogen. Less nitrogen minimizes the amount that may leach into the water supply.
  • Choose the proper spreader. For more control near water supply sources and storm drains, use a drop spreader.
  • Calibrate your spreader correctly. Read the label on the bag.
  • Time your applications. Do not apply fast acting fertilizers before a heavy rain. Minimize spring fertilizer because water tables are usually higher in the spring.
  • Minimize fertilizer on slopes.
  • Hire a professional. If you don’t have time to do it yourself, have a local lawn treatment company do it. You can sign up online for a free estimate.


Return from What is Fertilizer Runoff to Advantages of Fertilizers. Return from What is Fertilizer Runoff to Homepage.