In Your Garden
NUTRIENTS FROM OUR GARDENS can impact Roebuck Bay.The main culprits are nitrogen and phosphorous which are in many fertilisers, detergents, garden waste and animal faeces. These nutrients are food for blooms of Lyngbya that have been worsening in Roebuck Bay since in recent years. Another food source for Lyngbya is pindan soil, which contains iron and phosphorous.
WHILST RESEARCH IS URGENTLY NEEDED to confirm the cause of algal blooms, action is needed now to reduce the amount of nutrients and pindan entering Roebuck Bay.
How you can help – in your garden
Only rain down the drain – no garden waste
Plants, leaves & clippings contain nutrients that can wash off gardens into stormwater drains during rain & aquarium plants can become invasive weeds in Roebuck Bay.
• After mowing sweep clippings up from roads to prevent them entering street drains.
Use less fertiliser – tips for Broome gardeners »
Most garden fertilisers contain nutrients (nitrogen & phosphorous) that can seep through pindan & into the bay, or wash off gardens into stormwater drains during rain.
• Apply slow release organic fertiliser on garden beds sparingly & under mulch.
• Apply soil improver & use less fertiliser & water.
• Only fertilise lawn when signs of nutrient deficiency occur e.g. yellowing.
• If fertiliser is needed, read directions & apply before the wet season to avoid run-off.
• Don’t fertilise near road verges, drains, or near Roebuck Bay’s foreshore.
Use less water
Use less water and there will be less seepage of nutrients through lawns and gardens.
• Reticulate your garden with drip irrigation and check regularly for leaks.
• Sweep your driveway and paths instead of hosing.
• Purchase a pool cover and save water, chemicals and money.
Grow local native plants
• Local native plants use less fertiliser & water, attract wildlife & don’t become weeds.
• Are you using all that lawn? Grow native plants & reduce mowing, fertiliser & water.
Mulch your garden
• Use garden waste to mulch garden beds to reduce water & fertiliser use.
• Keep driveways free of leaves so they don’t blow onto roads & into stormwater drains.
Clean out your gutters
Falling leaves from deciduous trees can enter stormwater drains.
Discharge pool water onto garden soil
• Discharge pool backwash onto garden soil – not the road or stormwater drains.
• Buy a pool cover & use less water & chemicals, reduce phosphates from leaves & pindan entering your uncovered pool in stormy weather & during strong easterlies.
Dispose of chemicals properly
• With unused paint – let it dry out, put in bin, then wash brushes over sand or lawn.
• Make sure you have the proper bunting and traps in case of chemical spills.
• Minimise use of dangerous chemicals.
Fertilise Wisely brochure
Nutrients in fertilisers can be food for Lyngbya blooms, so overuse on gardens and lawns in Broome isn’t on!
When lawns and gardens are over fertilised the unused nutrients reach the bay through leaching into the water table and meeting with the waters of the Bay or by washing into stormwater drains and then the Bay when the rains arrive.
Roebuck Bay Working Group has released a new brochure to create awareness of the serious impacts of Lyngbya blooms and to offer tips for wise fertiliser use. By reducing known foods for Lyngbya blooms we can contribute to a healthy Bay with abundant marine ecology.