TAVARES — Lake County’s fertilizer ordinance is intended to help reduce nutrient-loading in urban landscapes by adding application restrictions using Florida-Friendly Landscaping principles. The ordinance, recommended by the Keep Lake Beautiful Committee and approved by the Board of County Commissioners last year, has special provisions beginning this summer.
Residents living in the unincorporated areas of the county who intend to fertilize their yard are reminded to do so 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 Sep. 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 water bodies.
The board approved the ordinance because 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.
Enforcement, including penalties or fines, will begin in November, however, residents are encouraged to begin acclimating themselves to the new requirements now. 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 Yards Program, contact the Lake County UF/IFAS Extension office at 352-343-4101 or visit http://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/lake/lawn-and-garden—florida-friendly-landscaping/.