Unit 5

Unit Five – Nutrient Management


Nutrient Management for the Advanced Master Gardener


Nutrient management is a strategy to improve water quality. It is recognized as a Best Management Practice (BMP) for reducing nutrients as required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Chesapeake Bay Program and Virginia’s response, the Water Quality Improvement Plan. It is also an option to help jurisdictions meet their goals for Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permits as required by the Clean Water Act.


This unit assumes that the Advanced Master Gardener has a thorough understanding of the following underlying concepts:

  • Basic soil science
  • Urban soils
  • Nutrient needs of plants
  • Nutrient movement in soil and factors effecting nutrient availability to plants
  • Environmental impacts and potential human health risks from improper nutrient management
  • Federal, state and local policies and regulations, including new guidance  on Phosphorus in Virginia.


The Importance of Nutrient Management to Virginia


The Advanced Master Gardener – Water Program Manager will be expected to lead a program designed to meet a local need or needs. Because of state requirements for managing applied nutrients that may reach Virginia’s waters, programs addressing nutrient management may help many local jurisdictions achieve part of their water quality goals. The Advanced MG must be well versed in the reasons for adopting proper nutrient management practices. Some will be interested in it because of the goals of the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation for urban nutrient management and Chesapeake Bay health. For those in the Bay watershed as well as those in other watersheds, the potential for improved economic, health and environmental outcomes is important.


Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation. 2016. “Virginia’s Nutrient Management Program.” Accessed September 8, 2016. http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/soil-and-water/nutmgt.


Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation. 2015. “Urban Nutrient Management.” Accessed September 8, 2016. http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/soil-and-water/urban-nutmgt.


Goatley, J. Michael, and Kevin Hensler. 2011. “The Objectives of Turf and Landscape Nutrient Management.” In Urban Nutrient Management Handbook. Blacksburg, Virginia: Virginia Cooperative Extension, 1-1 – 1-4. Accessed August 28, 2014. http://www.hort.vt.edu/Documents/FoxUrbNutMgmt.pdf.


Factors Affecting Nutrient Losses


                Multiple factors affect nutrient losses, including soil texture and structure, soil organic matter, fertilizer application timing, rates and source and turfgrass type and management practices. The maturity of a stand of turf has also been found to impact uptake and potential leaching.


Frank, Kevin W., Kevin O’Reilly, Jim Crum and Ron Calhoun. 2006. “Nitrogen Fate in a Mature Kentucky Bluegrass Turf.” Turfgrass and Environmental Research Online 5, 2:1-6. Reprinted with permission. Accessed November 16, 2014. http://usgatero.msu.edu/v05/n02.pdf.

turfgrass-research-1 turfgrass-research-2 turfgrass-research-3 turfgrass-research-4 turfgrass-research-5 turfgrass-research-6 turfgrass-research-7 turfgrass-research-8

Soldat, Douglas J. and A. Martin Petrovic. 2008. “The Fate and Transport of Phosphorus in Turfgrass Ecosystems.” Crop Science 48:2051-2063. Accessed September 8, 2016. http://turf.unl.edu/NebGuides/TurfP.pdf.


Environmentally Sensitive Areas


Environmentally sensitive areas exist where site conditions that can significantly impact the movement of potential pollutants into surface and ground waters. Frequently inundated floodplains, steep slopes (greater than or equal to 33%), and buffer areas adjacent to surface waters are first to come to mind. Others are Critical Erosion Area and those with Karst geology.  Critical Erosion Areas are those with highly erodible soils and/or slope and length of slope. Karst geology can also offer special challenges involving caves, crevices and potential sinkholes.


Division of Soil and Water Conservation. 2014. “Explanation of Environmentally Sensitive Sites.” In Virginia Nutrient Management Standards and Criteria, Revised July 2014, 27. Richmond, VA: Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation. Accessed September 8, 2016. http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/document/standardsandcriteria.pdf.


Steep Slopes, Aspect, Length and Highly Erodible Soils


Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. 1992. “Erosion and Sediment Control Principles.” In Virginia Erosion and Sedimentation Handbook, Third Edition, II-2 – II-6. Richmond, VA: Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. Accessed October 27, 2014. http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Portals/0/DEQ/Water/StormwaterManagement/Erosion_Sediment_Control_Handbook/Chapter%202.pdf.


Karst Geology


                Cave Conservancy of the Virginias. 2000. “Living on Karst: A Reference Guide for Landowners in Limestone Regions.” Accessed October 27, 2014. http://www.caveconservancyofvirginia.org/livingonkarst/livingonkarst.htm.


                Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation. “Hydrologic Modeling and Design in Karst.” Technical Bulletin No. 2, TB2-1 – TB2-2, TB2-5. Accessed October 27, 2014. http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Portals/0/DEQ/Water/Publications/TechBulletin2.pdf.



Popular NM Practices Negatively Impacting Water Quality and Quantity


                It has been established that the source of most lawn care knowledge possessed by the general public comes from product labels and sales people in stores. The General Assembly of Virginia acknowledged that many turf areas are maintained by lawn care companies, and created legislation that requires fertilizer applicators to be trained, become certified and follow recommended fertilization practices.


Residential irrigation systems have the potential to help maintain soil moisture for optimum plant health. However, systems that lack maintenance, soil moisture feedback capability or appropriate timers can negatively impact both water quantity and quality.


U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 2016. “Landscape Irrigation Professionals.” In WaterSense. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Accessed September 8, 2016. https://www3.epa.gov/watersense/outdoor/irrigation_professionals.html.


Lawn Service Companies – Regulation and Promotion of Certifications


                Virginia Administrative Code. Chapter 405: Regulations for the Application of Fertilizer to Nonagricultural Lands. 2012. 2VAC5-405. Public domain. Accessed October 27, 2014. http://law.lis.virginia.gov/admincodeexpand/title2/agency5/chapter405. [Note: Sections 20, 50, 60 and 100 are printed; follow link for other sections of the regulation.]

vac-1 vac-2 vac-3 vac-4 vac5

Code of Virginia. 2012. § 10.1 – 104.2:1. Nitrogen application rates; regulations. Public domain. Accessed October 27, 2014. http://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title10.1/chapter1/section10.1-104.2:1/.


“Green and Clean Initiative.” 2016. Accessed September 8, 2016. http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/soil-and-water/wqagree.


Goatley, Mike and Derik Cataldi. 2016. “Selecting a Lawn Service Company.” Virginia Cooperative Extension Turf and Garden Tips podcast and transcript. Accessed September 8, 2016.  http://www.ext.vt.edu/topics/lawn-garden/turfgrass/turfandgardentips/tips/selecting-lawn-service.html.


Maryland Department of Agriculture and Maryland Extension. 2014. “Choose a Lawn Care Service…that is Right for You and the Chesapeake Bay.” Accessed October 27, 2014. http://mda.maryland.gov/resource_conservation/Documents/LawnCareService.pdf.


Irrigation System Use Practices


Wilson, C.R., and D. Whiting, Kurt Jones, reviewer. 2014. “Operating and Maintaining a Home Irrigation System.” Colorado State University Extension, http://www.ext.colostate.edu. Reprinted with permission. Accessed September 8, 2016. http://extension.colostate.edu/docs/pubs/garden/07239.pdf.

irrigation-1 irrigation-2 irrigation-3 irrigation-4

Nutrient Needs Analysis


                In order to assist clients with proper nutrient applications, the Advanced Master Gardener – Water Program Manager must understand soil testing and interpretation of soil test results, and be able to communicate fairly complex concepts to the homeowner so that nutrients are properly monitored and/or applied. A tour of the Virginia Tech Soil Testing Lab will allow Advanced MG – Water Program Managers to see how the samples are handled and allow for time to talk with experts in soils and nutrient needs. Tours are offered at Master Gardener College each year. The Soil Lab also has considerable resources on their website, including their procedures and the Soil Test Notes that explain situations unique to each soil sample.


Not all homeowners will use the Virginia Tech Soil Testing Lab. Different testing chemicals are used by different labs, requiring an understanding of the tests and conversion tables.


The soil test is not the only diagnostic tool for determining nutrient needs for plant growth. Plant appearance and tissue analysis provide information when turf and plants are not performing as expected.  It may also be helpful to be able to identify nutrient deficiencies or excesses from the appearance of the plant; see the recommended readings by Wade and Evans in the section, “Ornamental plant selection, placement, and nutrient deficiencies.” More definitive is an analysis of plant tissue along with the soil test.


Maguire, Rory, and Steven E. Heckendorn. 2011. “Laboratory Procedures: Virginia Tech Soil Testing Laboratory.” Virginia Cooperative Extension Publication 452-881. Accessed October 28, 2014.  http://www.soiltest.vt.edu/PDF/lab-procedures.pdf.


Maguire, Rory, and Steven Heckendorn. 2009. “Soil Test Note #1 – Explanation of Soil Tests.” Virginia Cooperative Extension Publication 452-701. Accessed October 28, 2014. http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/452/452-701/452-701.html.


Goatley, Mike. 2005. “The Importance of pH…More Than Likely Your Soil Needs Lime.” Reprinted from Virginia Turfgrass Journal, March/April 2005: 18-22. Accessed October 27, 2014. http://www.stma.org/sites/stma/files/pdfs/the_importance_of_ph_-_goatley.pdf.


Little, Clif, and Dr. Maurice Watson. 2002. “Understanding Value in Lime.” Ohio State University Extension ANR-9-02. Accessed October 27, 2014. http://ohioline.osu.edu/anr-fact/0009.html.


Division of Soil and Water Conservation. 2014. “Correlation of Soil Analysis Results for Plan Writing in Virginia.” In Virginia Nutrient Management Standards and Criteria, Revised July 2014, 40. Richmond, VA: Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation. Accessed September 8, 2016. http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/document/standardsandcriteria.pdf.


Shober, A.L., J.T. Sims, and K.L. Gartley. 2013. “Interpreting Soil Phosphorus and Potassium Tests.” University of Delaware Extension. Accessed September 8, 2016. http://extension.udel.edu/factsheets/interpreting-soil-phosphorus-and-potassium-tests/.


Cleveland, Brenda, Michelle McGinnis and Catherine Stokes. 2008. “Plant Tissue Analysis: Measuring Nutrients to Optimize Fertilizer Efficiency and Protect Environmental Quality.” N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, http://www.ncagr.gov/agronomi/uyrplant.htm. Accessed September 8, 2016. http://www.ncagr.gov/agronomi/pdffiles/ptaflyer.pdf.


Turfgrasses for VA


Turfgrass now exceeds pasture as the largest crop grown in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. In 2004, it was estimated that Virginia had 1,702,000 acres of land in turf representing an average rate of change since 1972 of 33,875 acres per year (8.20% increase per year); most (61.6%) of the acreage is in home lawns (Schueler, 2010). The management of that turf acreage is a source of nutrients impacting water quality, and ultimately contributing to Chesapeake Bay degradation, but it is a source that the Advanced Master Gardener – Water Program Manager can impact through effective program design.


Master Gardeners know the difficulties of growing turf in the Transition Zone, and that the majority of home lawns are blends of cool-season grasses containing predominantly turf-type tall fescue. Fertilization rates, timing and application practices established by Virginia Tech will allow for healthy stands of turf with minimal risk of nutrient loss to the environment. Fertilizer selection requires an understanding of nutrient solubility and enhanced efficiency nitrogen sources. The correct identification of pests, diseases or abiotic sources of turf problems is essential, as is the appropriate corrective action.


Several factors are driving the use throughout Virginia of warm-season turfgrasses and research on their installation and maintenance. Temperatures are trending warmer, and drought has been cyclical throughout the state. As the Transition Zone shifts northward, varieties of warm-season grasses may be better for Virginia lawns and provide an opportunity for water savings.


Schueler, Tom. 2010. “The Clipping Point: Turf Cover Estimates for the Chesapeake Bay Watershed and Management Implications.” Chesapeake Stormwater Network Technical Bulletin #8. Accessed September 16, 2014. http://chesapeakestormwater.net/2009/06/the-grass-crop-of-the-chesapeake-bay-watershed/.


Turfgrass Selection, Fertilization and Pest Management


Goatley, Mike.  2007. “Choosing the Best Turfgrass Varieties.” Virginia Cooperative Extension Podcast. Accessed September 16, 2014. http://www.ext.vt.edu/topics/lawn-garden/turfgrass/turfandgardentips/tips/turf-variety-list.html.


Goatley, J.M., D.R. Chalmers, J.R. Hall III, and R.E. Schmidt. 2009. “Lawn Fertilization in Virginia.” Virginia Cooperative Extension Publication 430-011. Blacksburg, VA. Public domain. Accessed September 16, 2014. http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/430/430-011/430-011.html.



fertilization-3 fertilization-4 fertilization-5

Frame, Hunter and Mark S. Reiter. 2013. “Enhanced Efficiency Fertilizer Materials: Nitrogen Stabilizers.” Virginia Cooperative Extension Publication CSES-52P. Blacksburg, VA. Reprinted with permission. Accessed November 16, 2014. http://www.pubs.ext.vt.edu/CSES/CSES-52/CSES-52-pdf.pdf.

nitrogen-stabilizers-1 nitrogen-stabilizers-2 nitrogen-stabilizers-3 nitrogen-stabilizers-4 nitrogen-stabilizers-5


Goatley, Mike, and Steven Hodges. 2011. “Fertilizers and Lime Sources for Turf and Landscapes.” In Urban Nutrient Management Handbook by Michael Goatley, and Kevin Hensler. Blacksburg, Virginia: Virginia Cooperative Extension, 8-2 – 8-7. Accessed November 16, 2014.   http://www.hort.vt.edu/Documents/FoxUrbNutMgmt.pdf.


“Pest Management Strategic Plan for Turfgrass in North Carolina and Virginia, with Input from Maryland and South Carolina.” 2011. Southern Region IPM Center, Virginia Tech. Accessed October 24, 2014. http://www.ipmcenters.org/pmsp/pdf/NC-VAturfgrass.pdf.


Hall, J.R., P. Diane Relf, Patricia R. Carry, and Jim May. 2009. “Calibrating Your Lawn Spreader.” Virginia Cooperative Extension Publication 430-017. Reviewed by Mike Goatley May 1, 2009. Accessed October 27, 2014. http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/430/430-017/430-017.html.


Research on the Increased Use of Warm-Season Grasses


Goatley, Mike, Whitnee Askew, and Thomas Hardiman. 2014. “2016-2017 Virginia Turfgrass Variety Recommendations.” Virginia Cooperative Extension Publication CSES-93NP. Accessed September 8, 2016.  http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/CSES/CSES-17/CSES-17_pdf.pdf.


Smeal, Dan. 2000. “Study Compares Turf Water Needs.” New Mexico Water Conservation Alliance Fall: 1. Accessed September 28, 2014. http://www.nmwca.org/current/fall2000.pdf.


Goatley, Mike. 2014. “Warm-Season Lawns: Pros, Cons, and ‘How-To’s.” Presentation at the Master Gardener Volunteer Training, Manassas, VA, March 13. Reprinted with permission.

warm-season-ppt-01 warm-season-ppt-2 warm-season-ppt-3 warm-season-ppt-4 warm-season-ppt-5 warm-season-ppt-6 warm-season-ppt-7 warm-season-ppt-8 warm-season-ppt-9 warm-season-ppt-10 warm-season-ppt-11

Goatley, Michael. 2011. “Native Turfgrasses and Specialty Use Applications.” In Urban Nutrient Management Handbook by Michael Goatley, and Kevin Hensler. Blacksburg, Virginia: Virginia Cooperative Extension, 6-5 – 6-7. Accessed August 28, 2014. http://www.hort.vt.edu/Documents/FoxUrbNutMgmt.pdf.


Ornamental Plant Selection, Placement and Nutrient Deficiencies


                While the acreage of turf far outweighs that of ornamental plants, approaching landscape design with the goal of conserving water and improving water quality is desirable. Siting plants for where they thrive with minimal inputs and maximum health results in environmental and aesthetic benefits. When plants do not thrive, the homeowner may resort to improper applications of pesticides or nutrients with unintended consequences. While lab diagnosis of plant problems may be necessary, there are ways for the Advanced Master Gardener – Water Program Manager to recognize nutrient deficiencies in plants that are not thriving.


Fox, Laurie. 2011. “The Ornamental Landscape.” In Urban Nutrient Management Handbook by Michael Goatley, and Kevin Hensler. Blacksburg, Virginia: Virginia Cooperative Extension, 7-1 – 7-15. Accessed August 28, 2014.   http://www.hort.vt.edu/Documents/FoxUrbNutMgmt.pdf.


Denny, Geoffrey C., and Gail Hansen. 2013. “Right Plant, Right Place: The Art and Science of Landscape Design – Plant Selection and Siting.” University of Florida, IFAS Extension Publication ENH1156. Reprinted with permission. Accessed October 24, 2014. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ep416.

right-plant-1 right-plant-2 right-plant-3 right-plant-4 right-plant-5

Delaware Nutrient Management Commission. 2006. “Choose appropriate landscape plants.” In Water Quality Best Management Practices: Nutrient, Irrigation and Pesticides for Golf Course, Athletic Turf, Lawn Care and Landscape Industries. III, 13-16. Accessed October 8, 2014. http://dda.delaware.gov/nutrients/forms/BMPnonagforprinter.pdf.


Hosier, Shanyn, and Lucy Bradley. 1999. “Guide to Symptoms of Plant Nutrient Deficiencies.” University of Arizona Cooperative Extension. Accessed September 8, 2016. http://extension.arizona.edu/sites/extension.arizona.edu/files/pubs/az1106.pdf.


Evans, Erv. No date. “Nutrient Deficiency: Action Mode, Deficiency and Toxicity Symptoms of the 17 Essential Nutrients.” NC State University Department of Horticultural Science. Reprinted with permission.

nutrient-deficiency-1 nutrient-deficiency-2 nutrient-deficiency-3 nutrient-deficiency-4

Nutrient Sources for Turf and Ornamentals


When nutrients are needed, correct application rates, timing, water availability and application methods are important for water conservation and minimal nutrient transport away from target plants and into ground or surface water. Nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) are of particular interest due to the potential for leaching and contamination. Availability of N and P to the plant – without being excessive – is key.

The general public is showing a greater interested in fertilizers they consider “organic.” Similar to foods with “organic” labels, there are conflicting definitions between the industry and popular perception. Fertilizers by definition are inorganic if they contain no carbon, meaning that “organic” fertilizers may be synthetic (Goatley, 2011). Homeowners may mean that they prefer fertilizers that are “naturally occurring.” The Advanced Master Gardener must be able to communicate the importance of solubility, fertilizer analysis and BMPs.


Penn State Extension. 2014. “Nitrogen Fertilizers.” In 2013-2014 Agronomy Guide. Penn State University, College of Agricultural Sciences, http://extension.psu.edu/agronomy-guide. Accessed October 28, 2014. http://extension.psu.edu/agronomy-guide/cm/sec2/sec28.


Goatley, Michael. 2011. “Fertilizer and Lime Sources for Turf and Landscapes.” In Urban Nutrient Management Handbook by Michael Goatley, and Kevin Hensler. Blacksburg, Virginia: Virginia Cooperative Extension, 8-1 – 8-9, 8-12. Accessed August 28, 2014. http://www.hort.vt.edu/Documents/FoxUrbNutMgmt.pdf.


Delaware Nutrient Management Commission. 2006. “Fertilizer.” In Water Quality Best Management Practices: Nutrient, Irrigation and Pesticides for Golf Course, Athletic Turf, Lawn Care and Landscape Industries: 21-30. Accessed September 17, 2014. http://dda.delaware.gov/nutrients/forms/BMPnonagforprinter.pdf.


Appleton, Bonnie, and Kathy Kauffmann. 2009. “Fertilizing Landscape Trees and Shrubs.” VCE Publication 430-018, Virginia Cooperative Extension. Public domain. Accessed October 13, 2014. http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/430/430-018/430-018.html.



Evans, Erv. “A Gardener’s Guide to Fertilizing Trees and Shrubs.” North Carolina State University, Cooperative Extension Service Publication AG613, NC State University Department of Horticultural Science, http://cals.ncsu.edu/hort_sci/. Reprinted with permission. Accessed October 27, 2014. http://content.ces.ncsu.edu/a-gardeners-guide-to-fertilizing-trees-and-shrubs.pdf.

guide-to-tree-and-shrub-1 guide-to-tree-and-shrub-2 guide-to-tree-and-shrub-3 guide-to-tree-and-shrub-4 guide-to-tree-and-shrub-5 guide-to-tree-and-shrub-6 guide-to-tree-and-shrub-7 guide-to-tree-and-shrub-8

Soil Amendments – Organic and Inorganic


Commonly heard from homeowners is that their soil is “hard clay” or “too sandy.” Due to construction practices, the soils of home sites generally do not possess the desirable soil physical or chemical characteristics needed for plant growth. As an Advanced Master Gardener – Water Program Manager, you must be prepared to assist clients with soil amendments that will increase their satisfaction with their landscape’s appearance and decrease the potential for negative impacts on water quality and usage. Organic soil amendments available to homeowners usually come from agricultural sources (livestock or poultry manures) or municipal sources (wastewater sewage sludge or landscape trimmings). These sources contain low levels of nutrients so pose low risk to water quality if applied correctly but are important in their soil enhancing abilities and thus to plant growth and performance.


Research shows that compost use as a slow-release fertility source and as a soil amendment has the ability to minimize nutrient loss into the environment as well as conserve water. Compost is used as mulch for ornamental plants and as topdressing for turf areas. Improved water infiltration, soil moisture retention, increased cation exchange capacity and disease resistance are all benefits of this organic soil amendment.


There are few inorganic soil amendments readily available or useful to homeowners.  Sand is one amendment that homeowners may attempt. As the soil textural triangle will demonstrate, however, sand must be added in prohibitively large amounts in order to modify a soil with higher percentages of clay and silt (Evanylo and Goatley, 2011). Another amendment homeowners may think will break up heavy clay is gypsum. Gypsum will break up heavy clay and is useful when soil sodium (Na) is high, but it does not have any impact on plant health.


Evanylo, Greg, and Mike Goatley. 2011. “Organic and Inorganic Soil Amendments.” In Urban Nutrient Management Handbook by Michael Goatley, and Kevin Hensler. Blacksburg, Virginia: Virginia Cooperative Extension, 9-4 – 9-15. Accessed August 28, 2014. http://www.hort.vt.edu/Documents/FoxUrbNutMgmt.pdf.


Agresource Staff Members. No date. Topdressing Turf with Compost. Amesbury, MA: Agresource, Inc. Accessed October 28, 2014. https://my.extension.illinois.edu/documents/915090609090909/Topdressing_turf_with_compostrev.pdf


Relf, Diane. 2009. “Using Compost in Your Landscape.” Virginia Cooperative Extension Publication 426-704. Reviewed by Alex Niemiera, 2009. Accessed October 28, 2014. http://www.pubs.ext.vt.edu/426/426-704/426-704.html.


Sherratt, Pam. No date. “Gypsum as a Soil Conditioner?” The Ohio State University, Buckeye Turf. Accessed October 28, 2014. http://buckeyeturf.osu.edu/index.php?option=com_content&id=968&Itemid=170.


The Nutrient Management Plan


Nutrient management BMPS may be distributed as outreach materials and may be as formal and specific as a certified plan. When this is conducted by Certified Nutrient Management Planners, data is gathered and reported by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) to help Virginia meet its water quality improvement goals set by the EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program. The Nutrient Management Plans are one also of many storm water BMPs that can be used MS4 permits to meet a jurisdiction’s nutrient load reductions.


The Advanced MG – Water Program Manager may create programs for homeowners that replicate the kinds of data gathered by DCR.  Browse DCR’s “Virginia Nutrient Management Standards and Criteria” to see the data that is reported and to understand the factors considered by Nutrient Management Planners. The document has extensive reference material available, with many tables useful to the planners who deal with agricultural lands, but beginning on page 96, turf is addressed.


Virginia Nutrient Management Standards and Criteria, Revised. 2014. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation. Accessed September 8, 2016. http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/documents/standardsandcriteria.pdf.


A protocol has been recommended through which nutrient management plans on homeowner land may be credited toward state nutrient reduction goals. There are issues with the verification and tracking of properties, as can be seen in the following readings:


Schueler, Tom. “Application of CBP-Approved Urban BMP Protocols to Credit Nutrient Reduction Associated with Installation of Homeowner BMPs.” Memo dated September 13, 2013. Accessed October 24, 2014. http://www.chesapeakebay.net/channel_files/19175/homeowner_bmp_crediting.pdf.


Goulet, Norm, and Tom Scheuler. 2014. “Final Recommended Guidance for Verification of Urban Stormwater BMPs.” Memo dated January 21, 2014: 12. Accessed October 24, 2014. http://www.chesapeakebay.net/channel_files/21206/uswg_approved_urban_bmp_verification_guidance_012114.pdf.


Chesapeake Stormwater Network. 2016. “Crediting Residential BMPs.” Accessed September 8, 2016. http://chesapeakestormwater.net/bay-stormwater/urban-stormwater-workgroup/crediting-residential-bmps/.


Whether or not the local jurisdiction is collecting the data, an Advanced Master Gardener-led program to write plans for homeowners will have environmental and economic impact. Nutrient management for homeowners starts with education in a comprehensive program that would include a written plan, tools for record-keeping and access to technical resources on-going. The ten core Urban Nutrient Management Practices approved by the Chesapeake Bay Program may serve as basis for an Advanced MG – Water Program.


Online, free training is available for the Certified Fertilizer Applicator. This training may be beneficial to the Advanced Master Gardener – Water Program Manager.  Contact the VCE-Master Gardener State Coordinator.


Virginia Cooperative Extension. “Fertilizer Applicator Certification Training.” 2014. Accessed September 8, 2016. http://www.ext.vt.edu/topics/agriculture/commercial-horticulture/greenhouse-nursery/fertilizer-application/.