After red tide bloom, more homeowners considering 'green' fertilizers

The recent red tide bloom squashed a lot of summer plans this year, but it has Nicholas Bissett running nonstop.

"We’re really stretched pretty thin at this moment, to the point where we've added another truck," he offered. "We've grown over 100%."

Bissett is the co-owner of My Organic Turf, a local fertilizer company using certified organic products, made from natural plant and animal materials, instead of the common synthetic ones which contain man-made chemicals.

"With the synthetic approach, it’s like taking steroids and going to the gym. You get results quickly, but they are not sustainable results. Usually, you have a ton of other side effects as a result of what you did," offered co-owner Eric McCarthy.

As we saw this summer, the side effects can be ugly. Fertilizer runoff can help fuel harmful red tide blooms.

RELATED: Lawn clippings, dog droppings, fertilizer all contribute to red tide, scientists say

"These lawns are similar to the human body in that they can only absorb so much at one given time. So, whatever isn’t absorbed, goes right down into our water tables," continued McCarthy.

The more environmentally friendly approach attracted South Tampa homeowner and mother Biancha Moseley.

"It was important for us to contribute to a better environment all around," she said.

My Organic Turf also uses less product by doing more spot-treatment.

"In this industry, there are a lot of cowboys blasting away with pesticides and fungicides. The biggest thing we do is actually identify the cause of the issue," said Bissett.

It's an approach scientists say can help in the long run.

"If you put just enough of what's needed out there, you will have less that will run off and go into the groundwater," agreed Jim Ivey, a professor of environmental science at USF St. Petersburg. "If you use organic, they’ll break down longer over time and you may even have less go into our groundwater."

RELATED: What is Florida's red tide, and where does it come from?

The decision to go organic gives Biancha peace of mind.

"I am glad we chose to do this. It’s just a small thing that we can do."

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