What are the causes of having high phosphorous in the soil?

Asked October 29, 2013, 2:51 PM EDT

What are the causes of having high phosphorous in the soil?

Kershaw County South Carolina

1 Response

I am not sure what you are asking, as your question is unclear as to your desire to know what causes high phosphorus levels in soil, or what are the effects of high phosphorus, or how to mitigate this condition. So I will attempt to briefly answer all of these issues. First, high phosphorus levels are usually caused by over fertilizing or applying too much manure. Phosphorus is a major nutrient requirement for plant photosynthesis and respiration. However it is relatively stable in the soil and usually not much is needed to be added. Over abundance of this element in the soil doesn't affect plants much, but it can be troublesome to the environment if it gets into the water table.
If you have had a lab test your soil and it has been determined that your phosphorus is indeed too high the best way to mitigate it is by planting nitrogen fixing cover crops and refrain from further fertilizing. There are phosphorus free fertilizers but they difficult for home gardeners to apply without running the risk of nitrogen burning on your plants. If your soil test says you need nitrogen I recommend compost which doesn't contain any manure in it. And Never fertilize without knowing what the nutrient conditions of your soil are. Many plants are ruined by over fertilizing.