Alachua County announced that landscape fertilizers with nitrogen will be prohibited from July through February and requires fertilizers containing the element to contain no less than 50 percent slow-release nitrogen.
“Fertilizers are a source of pollution to our surface waters, groundwater, and springs, so we want to ensure that citizens are aware of the fertilizer ban,” said Alachua County Environmental Protection Department Water Resources Program Manager Stacie Greco in a press release.
New regulations released from the county also prohibit phosphorus unless a deficiency is verified.
The three numbers on a fertilizer bag are nitrogen, then phosphorus, and finally, potassium. This means the middle number on the bag must be zero unless you have conducted a soil or tissue test to verify the need for phosphorus.
The Alachua County Environmental Protection Department staff are distributing signs which must be displayed at all stores that sell fertilizer.
The ordinance from Alachua County also includes the following standards:
- Fertilizers containing nitrogen or phosphorus may not be applied: when soils are saturated with water, before heavy rain, or for the first 30 days after seeding or sodding
- Fertilizers spilled on impervious surfaces must be removed immediately and may not be blown or washed into stormwater systems or water bodies.
- Fertilizers shall not be applied within a minimum of ten feet from any waterbody unless a deflector shield is used (then a minimum distance of three feet is required).
- Grass clippings must be removed from streets, sidewalks, and driveways immediately.
- Fertilizers must be stored in areas protected from rainfall and stormwater runoff.
- All commercial and institutional applicators shall successfully complete the Florida Friendly Best Management Practices for Water Resources by the Green Industries training and carry evidence that they are an FDACS Commercial Fertilizer Applicator.
To request signage or to report the absence of signage, contact Stacie Greco at 352-264-6829 or Sgreco@alachuacounty.us.
For more information, visit www.MyYardOurWater.org.