Having garden soil with right kind of nutrients is what you want – but having too much of a good thing can be cause for disaster. In this article, we talk about the effects of having high phosphorous and how to lower phosphorous levels in soil.
Effects Of High Phosphorous Levels In Your Soil
As with all the other elements, excess Phosphorous can be toxic to your plants. Common problem with too much phosphorous in your soil will:
- Stunt plant and root growth
- Increased weed growth
- Limit the intake of iron – can be visually identified by yellowing of your leaves between the veins
- Limit the intake of zinc – can be visually identified by bleaching of the plant leaves
Tips To Lower Phosphorous Levels In Soil
Unfortunately with phosphorous, there is no one key method to easily reduce the excess phosphorous in your soil. Prevention and reduction is your best course of action.
- Avoid adding manure – manure contains many key nutrients for your soil but typically including high levels of phosphorous. Limiting the addition of manure will help reduce phosphorus being added.
- Use only phosphorus-free fertilizer – if you can limit the amount of phosphorous added to your soil, you can let the plants use the existing phosphorus while still providing other key nutrients such as Nitrogen and Potassium. Find a fertilizer with numbers such as 10-0-10, where the zero represents no phosphorous.
- Water your soil – soaking your soil liberally will aid in driving phosphorous out of the soil. Careful with this method as you will also leech other key nutrients away as well. Test your soil with a soil test kit afterwards to verify the success of this method. I would recommend this as a last ditch effort.
As often as it is overlooked by beginner gardeners, soil health is the number one aspect you need to be aware of. As you now know the harmful effects of having too much phosphorous in your soil, I urge you to ensure you are performing soil tests at regular intervals . Knowledge is power, and prevention is key.
If you have any questions about reducing phosphorous in your soil or any other garden questions, just drop me a comment below. Happy gardening!