Best Practices We Can Do For Algae Control

By D.Ernes – Lake Management Committee

We are entering the season to get back into our yards. At the latest Board Meeting, I briefly went over a tri-fold pamphlet, available in the RRA office. It details a number of practices that can help individuals to reduce their nutrient footprint. And as we know, nutrients, especially phosphorus, are the fuel for algal blooms. So, anything that we as residents can do to reduce the nutrients entering the lake will be another step in our efforts to reduce blooms. This article paraphrases some of these Best Practices that each of us can do.

Fertilizer – If you must use lawn fertilizer, use phosphorous-free and slow-release nitrogen products. Most fertilizers have three numbers separated by a dash somewhere on the bag. In some cases it is in the small print. The middle number is the phosphorus content, so it’s best to use a product that has a zero here (4-0-3). The major suppliers like Scott’s have mostly moved to zero phosphorus lawn products. One thing to consider is that garden fertilizers almost exclusively have high phosphorus content. So if you use this product, please use it sparingly. Take advantage of test kits to insure you even need the phosphorus. Don’t apply fertilizer prior to a major storm, as most of it will end up in the lake and not in your lawn!

Lawn maintenance – When mowing your lawn, do not blow the clippings into the street, culvert, or, into the lake. If you see your neighbor or a lawn service discharging clippings or debris (leaves, etc.) into the lake, talk to them and encourage them to use another approach. (And they can be fined.)  Use the compost site which is the best location for yard waste.

Landscaping projects – When doing a new construction or an upgrade to your lawn-scape, think of the lake. We have written articles on buffer zones and rain gardens that can be both attractive as well as help to reduce nutrient run-off into the lake. There are also a number of plants that will absorb nutrients at a greater efficiency than others. For those on the lake, break up any steep slopes that direct runoff into the lake with stones, mulched beds, etc. If you use landscaping pavers, consider porous products.

Pets – Remember to pick up after your pet both in your lawn and when walking them through the neighborhood. The waste can add nutrients (and bacteria) into the lake.  

Cleaning Products – This is the season to wash our cars, our boats and maybe the siding on our house. Some detergents will be detrimental to the lake. There is a list of “green” products on the RRA website that can do the job while being good to the lake.

Overall, think about what you do outside. What you do on your property, can affect the lake, either positively or negatively. So, each of us has a responsibility as resident of our Lake Community to …


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Roaming Shores, OH
May 18, 2022, 11:02 pm
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