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Using Phosphorus-free Lawn Fertilizers

You should make every effort to protect Princeton Lakes water quality. You can begin by using no-phosphorus lawn fertilizer. Review the FAQís below to better understand why.

PLPOA Fertilizer Use FAQ

Q: Why use lawn fertilizer without phosphorus around the ski lakes?

A: The soils in the community naturally provide all the phosphorus your established lawn needs.  Much of the phosphorus (phosphate) you apply actually runs off the lawn before penetrating the soil. That means it gets into the ski lakes contributing to algae bloom and growth of undesirable aquatic plants.

Q: How do I know thereís no phosphorus in my fertilizer?

A: Check the second number on the package formula. 15ó0ó10, for example, means zero phosphate. The first number is the nitrogen content, the middle number is the phosphorus content and the last number is the potassium content.  Make sure the middle number on the bag is 0 indicating it it phosphorus free.

Q: What if I use a commercial lawn fertilizer service?

A.  Ask your applicator service not to use phosphorus on your lawn.  If they are unwilling to remove the phosphorus, contact another dealer or consider applying the no-phosphorus fertilizer yourself.

Q: Does my lawn need phosphorus?

A: No. Unless you have a newly seeded lawn most soil provides all the phosphorus your established lawn needs.  If you are in doubt have your lawn tested before adding any phosphorus.

Q: How does phosphorus damage the ski lakes?

A: Phosphorus encourages algae bloom and promotes unwanted growth of aquatic plants. Phosphorus basically stays around forever and there is no way to get rid of it.

Q: Whatís the best way to use a phosphorus free fertilizer?

 A: Follow the instructions on the package, and, donít be afraid to use somewhat LESS than is recommended. Many lawns are over-fertilized.

Q: When should I feed my lawn?

A: The best time to fertilize is in May and early June and again in September or early October.

Q: If I want to use  nitrogen, whatís recommended?

A: Apply no more than one pound per 1,000 square feet of turf area during each feeding. In shade, use half that amount.  If you allow grass clippings to decompose on your lawn you can eliminate one application of fertilizer as the decaying grass gradually releases nitrogen into the soil.  This saves you both money and time and reduces nitrate pollution.  Remember, while nitrogen is needed to produce a thick turf, too much nitrogen will only contribute to pollution of the ground and surface water.

Q: What are some other things I can do to make my lawn more ski lake friendly?

  • Avoid letting fertilizer wash off the turf.
  • Donít fertilize when the soil is saturated with moisture.
  • Avoid getting fertilizer on driveways, sidewalks and storm drains.
  • Use a mulching mower to leave the grass clippings on the turf.
  • Cut no more than the top third of the grass.  Leaving about 3 inches height shades the roots and helps reduce erosion and runoff.
  • Rake and recycle your leaves in the fall.  Donít let them blow into the lake.

Q: Where can I buy no-phosphorus fertilizer?

A: You can purchase 100% Nitrogen at the local Princeton Feed Store or the McKinney Feed Store. It is fairly inexpensive when compared with Home Depot or Lowes.

Princeton AG Supply‎

409 East Princeton Drive

Princeton, TX‎

(972) 736-2350


Collin County Feed & Seed

113 South Chestnut Street

Mckinney, TX‎

(972) 542-5011


©2010 Princeton Lakes POA, Inc.