Phosphorus phaseout at Scotts

Turf Builder will be phosphorus-free by 2012.

The problem with phosphorus, according to scientists, is that it can turn aquatic habitats into dead zones. That’s why the Alliance for the Great Lakes (AGL) applauded the recent decision by Scotts Miracle-Gro to phase out phosphorus from its lawn fertilizers, including its popular Turf Builder brand.

Marysville, Ohio-based Scotts, which began lowering phosphorus levels in its lawn fertilizer products in 2006, intends to remove them completely by the end of 2012. 

The impact on America’s green lawns? “Most lawns in the U.S. can flourish without supplemental phosphorus applications,” reads the press release making the announcement.

The press release also included commendations from the National Wildlife Federation, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and Keep America Beautiful — all similar in tone to the AGL’s comments.

A more tempered approval came from Paul Tukey, founder of, who said that Scotts’ decision came as phosphorus legislation was either passed or pending in upwards of 14 states around the country. “Scotts can see the writing on the wall,” Tukey said. The move is a welcome change, “but I wish they would have done it decades sooner,” he added.

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