Say NO to Phosphorus Fertilizer

tahoetakecare Fertilizer

Lake Tahoe soils contain plenty of phosphorus naturally. Excess“P” in fertilizer will run off your property and end up in Lake Tahoe, fueling plant growth.


Tips for Fertilizer Application


What type of fertilizer is best to use in order to protect Lake Tahoe?

• Organic compost, mixed 6-12 inches deep.
• Chemical fertilizer with no phosphorus. The label has a nutrient ratio N-P-K. The middle number is “P” for phosphorus. Be sure the number is 0. Slow release is best for perennials, shrubs and trees.


When should fertilizer be applied?

• Spring (after snowpack has melted) – May
• Late summer – September
• Check the weather forecast to make sure there won’t be any precipitation for a few days.


How much fertilizer should I use?

• Multiply the length times the width of the lawn or garden area to get the square footage.
• Turf needs ½ to ¾ pounds of nitrogen for every 1,000 square feet.


What do I do after applying fertilizer?

• Apply water to soak 6 to 8 inches into the ground.

• To avoid washing fertilizer into the Lake, water for short periods of time, allowing the water to soak into the ground. Step 1 – Apply water for 10 to 15 minutes. Step 2 – Turn the water off for an hour or two. Step 3 – Repeat steps 1 & 2.


Watering Tip: If you see runoff or pooling water, turn water off and allow the soil to absorb the excess water.