2007-07-05 / Happenings

Fertilize another day if rain is forecast

Many homeowners are under the impression that they should fertilize before a rain so the fertilizer can soak into the soil.

This is not true, said Andy Vokes, AmeriCorps Grandwater Eductor for Missaukee, Wexford, Crawford and Roscommon Counties. Fertilizing before rain greatly increases the likelihood that fertilizer will run off a lawn. This is undesirable for several reasons.

First, money is wasted because fertilizer is flowing off the property. Second, storm drains lead directly to the nearest surface water, so the nearest lake or stream is being contaiminated with fertilizer. This, in turn floods the lake with nutrients and aquatic plants grow out of control and become nuisances. A neighbor's well could also be contaiminated if he lives in the path of your runoff.

According to Vokes, homeowners should check the weather forecast before applying fertilizer.

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