Summertime Fertilizer Ban Begins June 1.
Written by Kristen Schmutz
Belden Communications News
Volusia County wants you to take the summer off – from fertilizing that is!
According to a release, the summertime fertilizer ban begins June 1 and continues through Sept. 30. During this time, residents and lawn care companies may not apply nitrogen or phosphorus to lawns and landscape plants.
Excess nutrients from fertilizer runoff can cause algae blooms and fish kills in waterways, which can result in fish kills and seagrass die-off, spoiling recreational opportunities and the natural habitats and wildlife.
Volusia County’s fertilizer ordinance includes these provisions:
- The application of fertilizers containing phosphorus is prohibited at all times unless a soil or plant-tissue deficiency is verified.
- The application of fertilizers containing nitrogen is prohibited from June 1 through Sept. 30 of each year.
- Fertilizer containing nitrogen may be applied only between Oct. 1 and May 31 and must contain at least 50 percent slow-release nitrogen.
- Fertilizer may not be applied within 15 feet of water bodies.
All homes and businesses in the county must adhere to the ordinance, except in Deltona, which has its own fertilizer ordinance. Homeowners should check with their lawn care companies to make sure they are following the ordinance.
Gardens and the application of compost are exempt.
The Volusia County Council passed the fertilizer ordinance in 2014 to protect the county’s springs and surface waters, particularly the Indian River Lagoon, where algae blooms and animal deaths have raised concerns in recent years.
Local garden centers offer a variety of summer-safe yard products to help keep landscapes green and growing throughout the summer. Look for fertilizers that start with two zeros (such as 0-0-6) on the label; these do not contain nitrogen or phosphorus.
For more information about fertilizing like a Floridian and Florida-friendly lawn care practices, visit www.befloridiannow.org.
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