Pinellas County’s rainy season fertilizer restrictions begin June 1
May 28, 2021
Pinellas County’s rainy season fertilizer restrictions go into effect Tuesday, June 1 and last until September 30.
Residents and landscapers are reminded that the County Fertilizer Ordinance prohibits the sale or application of lawn and landscape fertilizers containing nitrogen and / or phosphorus during this period. Phosphorus cannot be used at any time of the year unless a soil test confirms that it is needed. Additionally, fertilizer can never be applied within 10 feet of the top of a slope leading to a dike, wetland, or body of water.
The county regulates landscape maintenance practices year round. Homeowners, landscapers and lawn care services must follow the practices outlined in the ordinance to protect water quality. All landscapers and fertilizer applicators who provide services in the county are required to display a Pinellas County certification vehicle sticker and carry a wallet card.
The nitrogen / phosphorus ban helps prevent fertilizer runoff from negatively affecting lakes, ponds, rivers, Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico and from seeping into groundwater. Too much nitrogen and phosphorus can cause harmful algal blooms that lower oxygen levels and kill fish. Water quality testing by Pinellas County Environmental Management has shown significant reductions in total nitrogen and phosphorus nutrients in our water bodies since the ordinance was enacted.
Pinellas County recommends using summer-safe lawn care products and landscaping management best practices to maintain a healthy landscape during the summer:
• Look for products with “0-0” as the first two digits on the fertilizer label.
• Apply iron to keep lawns green during the summer without increasing growth.
• Use compost to enrich the soil.
• Adjust the height of the lawn mower blade between 3½ and 4 inches for St. Augustinegrass and Bahia sod to encourage deep roots that are drought, fungus and pest resistant.
• Buy plants adapted to Florida’s hot and humid climate and plant them in places that meet their sun and water needs.
Pinellas County is one of more than 90 communities in Florida that have summer fertilizer restrictions.
Landscapers and residents looking for more tips on landscaping practices, reclaimed water and fertilizer application can visit www.pinellascounty.org/fertilizer.
This press release was prepared by Pinellas County Government. The opinions expressed here are those of the author.