Volusia County's summertime fertilizer ban begins Wednesday, June 1.
Written by Kristen Schmutz
Belden Communications News
Volusia County’s summertime fertilizer ban begins on Wednesday, June 1, and continues through Friday, September 30, meaning residents and lawn care companies may not apply nitrogen or phosphorus to lawns and landscape plants.
The fertilizer ban is part of Volusia County’s fertilizer ordinance (passed by the Volusia County Council in 2014), which applies to all homes and businesses, except in Deltona, which has its own fertilizer ordinance. Homeowners should check with their lawn care companies to ensure they adhere to the ordinance. Gardens and the application of compost are exempt.
The following provisions are included in Volusia County’s fertilizer ban:
- 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 September 30 of each year.
- Fertilizer containing nitrogen may be applied only between October 1 and May 31 and must contain at least 50 percent slow-release nitrogen.
- The application of fertilizer is prohibited within 15 feet of water bodies.
According to a release, Excess nutrients from fertilizer runoff can cause algae blooms, fish kills, and kill seagrass, a key regulator of water quality and a food source for manatees. The Volusia County fertilizer ordinance protects the springs and surface waters in the County, particularly the Indian River Lagoon, where algae blooms and animal deaths have raised concerns in recent years.
Volusia County’s Environmental Management Division recommends these Florida-friendly lawn care practices during the summer:
- Pump some iron - Use Florida-friendly yard products that contain iron or other micronutrients to green up your lawn.
- Get better dirt - Give your garden a boost by adding compost. Try organic soil amendments such as leaves, mulch, and compost.
- Pick better plants - Native and Florida-friendly plants require less fertilizer, water, and overall care.
- Keep the clippings - Leave grass clippings on the lawn. They can supply up to 50 percent of the nitrogen your grass needs.
Summer-safe yard products are offered at local garden centers 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.
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