Newswise — May 1, 2019 – Nitrogen is the most common nutrient to limit plant growth, so gardeners often add it in the form of fertilizer. However, used improperly, nitrogen runoff can cause serious pollution. The Soil Science Society of America’s (SSSA) May 1st Soils Matter blog takes a look at factors that will help your garden (and lawn) while protecting the environment.

 “The nitrogen cycle, in which nitrogen moves through soil, water, air, and organisms, is one of the most complex element cycles,” says Rivka Fidel, University of Arizona. “Luckily, keeping nitrogen in the soil simply involves reducing the losses of nitrogen from the soil. Losses are ways that nitrogen exits the soil.”

Fidel’s advice to keep nitrogen in soil, involves ways to reduce 4 key losses:

  1. Leaching
  2. Ammonia volatilization
  3. Denitrification

Gardeners – and farmers – all need to pay attention to the weather forecast. High temperatures, and incoming rainfall both mean you should hold off on fertilizing. Other practices during harvest can also help. In this way, you can keep nitrogen in your yard, and out of our water supplies – and atmosphere!

Read the entire post here to help your garden grow – and keep the environment safe:

Follow SSSA on Facebook at, Twitter at SSSA_Soils. SSSA has soils information on, for teachers at, and for students through 12th grade,

The Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) is a progressive international scientific society that fosters the transfer of knowledge and practices to sustain global soils. Based in Madison, WI, and founded in 1936, SSSA is the professional home for 6,000+ members and 1,000+ certified professionals dedicated to advancing the field of soil science. The Society provides information about soils in relation to crop production, environmental quality, ecosystem sustainability, bioremediation, waste management, recycling, and wise land use.