High phosphorous - Knowledgebase Question

Edgerton, Oh
Question by dianeseslar
April 23, 2009
I just had a lawn soil test. It shows high
phosphorous. What can I do
to amend it? Also, I have a bad mole problem that's
tearing up my lawn.

Answer from NGA
April 23, 2009


Most soils contain phosphorous and half of it is fixed and usually not available to plant roots so a high phosphorous content is nothing to be alarmed about. You can add organic matter to help break down the phosphorous or you can simply use a high nitrogen fertilizer with no phosphorous such as a 20-0-15 or a 20-0-20. Eventually everything will even out.

Moles and gophers can be exasperating when they take up residence in a yard. The critters tunnel through the soil feeding on grubs, worms and beetles. Sometimes they chew through plant roots and bulbs, causing damage to the plants. The best way to control these pests is by trapping. Invest in one or two scissors-type traps and set them in the active runs. The best approach is to use a stiff metal probe (like a straightened wire coathanger) to find the main runs. Start at a mound of soil and explore the ground with the probe, finding the longest tunnel. You'll be able to tell by whether or not the probe penetrates into the soil easily. Short tunnels are used infrequently, so your best chance of trapping will be by placing a trap in a frequently used main run. Once you've found a likely tunnel, set the trap and cover it with a section of turf or a board to exclude daylight. Keep setting the trap until you stop catching moles and gophers. It may take an entire season, but persistence pays off and eventually you'll reduce the population of the creatures. Healthy soil naturally has a large population of insects. As long as the insects inhabit the soil, moles and gophers will be attracted. Wish there were an easier way to eliminate moles and gophers from the landscape.

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