The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company announced recently it has achieved its goal of removing phosphorus from its category-leading Turf Builder brand lawn food maintenance products. The commitment was first announced on World Water Day in 2011 as a partial solution to nutrient runoff that can lead to excessive algae growth in watersays, and it marked a major sustainability milestone in the lawn and garden category.
“In 2011 we announced that production of our conventional Turf Builder brand lawn food would be phosphorus-free by this season,” said ScottsMiracle-Gro chief marketing officer Jim Lyski. “As consumers feed their lawns this spring, they should know they can get great results from our products while also protecting and preserving our water resources.”
The 2011 phosphorus-free announcement marked the expansion of a commitment made by the company in 2006 to stakeholders in the Chesapeake Bay area that phosphorus content in lawn foods would be reduced by fifty percent. For perspective, over ten thousand tons of phosphorus was used to produce Turf Builder brand lawn food products in 2003. Now, ten years later, that amount is zero, as the company determined that the typical, established lawn has an adequate amount of phosphorus to support healthy grass.
“We are committed to ensuring sustainable water supplies for generations to come, and going phosphorus free was a commitment we were proud to make” said Scotts’ global research and development leader Bruce Caldwell. “Our associates’ enthusiasm for this initiative has been tremendous and we also want to thank the environmental stakeholders we’ve worked with to make it possible.”
Because phosphorus is essential to the initial root development of grass plants, the nutrient will remain in Scotts’ starter fertilizers for new lawns and also in the company’s lines of organic lawn food, as it naturally occurs in the organic materials contained in the products. Lyski said he anticipates any maintenance products containing phosphorous held over from last season’s inventory will quickly sell through at retail this spring.
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