Q: Is there a fertilizer made specifically for lakes? I’ve heard of lawn fertilizer and garden fertilizer and houseplant fertilizer but is there a special product for lakes? Please respond soon – a colleague and I have a twelve-pack of adult beverage riding on your answer.
A: Sure there is! Lakes have special needs for nutrients and specialty fertilizers have been developed to meet those needs. In general, lakes are fertilized to increase the growth of phytoplankton – the tiny plants that make pond water green. Phytoplankton feed the minnows which are food for the larger fish you enjoy catching.
Lakes are usually deficient in phosphorus, so most pond fertilizers have an abundance of that nutrient. “Full Stringer” has an analysis of 10-52-4 and is applied at a rate of four pounds per surface acre. Spreading pond fertilizer is not as simple as fertilizing your lawn. This Extension publication has more information on how to manage a lake correctly: Pond Fertilization
I expect to see the two of you sharing a lazy day on the lake soon!