In an effort to address the phosphorus runoff from urban and residential areas in the St. Albans Bay watershed, a project was launched in spring 2004 by the St. Albans Area Watershed Association to educate the public about the effects of over fertilizing lawns, especially with phosphorus which is naturally high in the soils in the area. Free soil tests are being offered to homeowners. 70 out of 200 tests have been completed so far with help from Master Gardener volunteers and students at the Bellows Free Academy. The results of these tests are sent to the homeowner to help them manage their lawns and gardens with lake friendly practices.
An interpolated map of the results of these soil tests indicates that the levels of phosphorus throughout the city are high to excessive, with only a few places where phosphorus levels appear to be low. This suggests that lawns in the area would thrive with a no-phosphorus fertilizer. The next step is convincing local garden stores to carry fertilizers that have low levels or no phosphorus. The interpolated map will be used as an input to the landscape model so that phosphorus that runs off of lawns during a rainstorm can be more accurately simulated to capture real spatial patterns.
There are still over 100 free soil tests available for homeowners in the City of St. Albans. If you would like to receive one please contact Jeff Rouleau at 527-5368.
Summary Statistics for Available P
Average = 16 ppm
Optimum for Grass = 4 ppm - 8 ppm
Maximum = 82 ppm
Minimum = 1.6 ppm