P&PDL Picture of the Week for
March 28, 2011

Buffers around reservoirs and ponds

Mike Mickelbart, Assistant Professor of Horticulture, Department of Horticulture & Landscape Architecture, Purdue University

Large amounts of fertilizers are typically applied to turfgrass, especially in landscapes such as apartment complexes, where residents enjoy having a lush green lawn. Ponds or reservoirs are also a typical feature of these landscapes. These ponds can be a collection point for nutrients from fertilizer. High concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorus can lead to the growth of algae and can exacerbate the leaching of these nutrients into ground water. To avoid this, avoid fertilizing near water. At least a ten-foot maintenance-free zone should be established around all water collection sites.

The photos show three levels of maintenance-free zones around ponds: 1) none, 2) minimal (less than 10’), and 3) adequate (10’ or more).

Click image to enlarge

No maintenance free zone around pond

Figure 1

Minimal (less than 10 foot) maintenance free zone around pond

Figure 2

Adequate (10 foot or more) maintenance free zone around pond

Figure 3

Purdue Plant & Pest Diagnostic Lab Purdue Cooperative Extension Service