Water-Related News

Lake County reminds citizens of summer fertilizer blackout period

Lake County reminds citizens to use only slow release fertilizer this spring

TAVARES – Lake County’s fertilizer ordinance is intended to help reduce nutrient-loading in urban landscapes by adding application restrictions while utilizing Florida-Friendly LandscapingTM principles. The ordinance, recommended by the Keep Lake Beautiful Committee and approved by the Board of County Commissioners in 2017, includes a summer time phosphorous and nitrogen application prohibition.

Residents living in the unincorporated areas of the county who intend to fertilize their yard are reminded to do as soon as possible when turfgrass roots have recovered from winter dormancy and before the start of the summer fertilizer application ban on June 1.

The ordinance prohibits applying fertilizer containing nitrogen and phosphorus to turf or landscaping between June 1 and Sept. 30. The ordinance also requires that fertilizers contain a minimum 50 percent slow-release nitrogen content and prohibits fertilizer from being applied within 15 feet of waterbodies.

This ordinance was implemented as nutrient impairment of waterbodies and springs has become a major concern throughout the state and in Lake County. Excess nutrients change the ecological balance of a waterbody and cause water quality issues including persistent algae blooms.

More than half of Florida’s counties have adopted a fertilizer ordinance, including neighboring counties Marion, Orange, Volusia and Seminole.

For more information, check out the Lake County's Fertilizer Ordinance webpage at www.lakecountyfl.gov/fertilizer. For additional information regarding the Florida-Friendly LandscapingTM Program, contact the Lake County UF/IFAS Extension office at 352-343-4101 or visit http://bit.ly/UFFertilizer.