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Local Fertilizer Ordinances & Information

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ANALYZE BEFORE YOU FERTILIZE

 

What’s in a Bag of Fertilizer?

Nitrogen:

Helps with leaf and foliage growth. Any unused nitrogen is quickly turned into ammonia, and  is washed into waterways. To prevent this, buy fertilizer with 50% slow release nitrogen.

Phosphate:

Helps with root, fruit and flower growth. Lucky for us, Florida soils are already rich in phosphate, and you do not need to apply any to your yard. Only apply phosphate if a soil test indicates that it is deficient!

Potassium:

Helps with overall plant growth and health.
SLWC Fertilizer Bag

Learn Your Local Fertilizer Laws!

It is illegal to use fertilizers that contain Phosphorous according to St. Lucie County Ordinance. Despite this, stores are still allowed to sell them. It is up to YOU to know the rules and understand the impacts your choices have on the environment. Below is a summary of local laws. Please read the complete ordinances for full details!

Port. St. Lucie, Fort Pierce & Unincorporated St. Lucie County

Between June 1- Sept. 30, no fertilization with products containing nitrogen (N) or phosphorus (P) is permitted. Fertilizer containing N or P shall also not be applied if the soils are saturated, during a storm watch/warning, or if heavy rains are expected. Fertilizer shall not be applied within 10 feet of any pond, stream, lake, canal or wetland. A 10 foot low maintenance area is recommended around all bodies of water. A swale or ditch is recommended on the landward side of this area to capture and filter runoff. No fertilizers containing phosphorous shall be used unless soil deficiency is verified by the University of Florida IFAS, and then the minimum amount necessary shall be used.Fertilizers containing N or P shall not be used before sodding or seeding a site, or for 30 days afterwards.Fertilizers containing N or P shall be used in the lowest amounts necessary to prevent nutrient deficiencies. Fertilizers containing N should contain no less than 50% slow release N.When applying fertilizer, spreader deflectors must be used to keep fertilizer away from all paved surfaces, fertilizer free zones and wetlands. Any fertilizer that ends up in these areas must be removed to the greatest extent practical. Grass clippings and vegetative materials shall not be washed, swept or blown into storm drains, ditches or water bodies.

To see what's legal in other areas of the Treasure Coast and for more details, visit:

https://sites.google.com/site/fertilizeruseintheirlwatershed/fertilizer-ordinances 

 

Calculating 50% Slow Release Nitrogen

To follow local fertilizer ordinances, look for the terms 'time-release', 'slow-release' or 'controlled-release' on your fertilizer labels. At least 50% of the nitrogen (N) in the fertilizer should be slow release. To calculate this, use the fertilizer content label and follow this equation: Photo of a Fertilizer Bag label with 16% total nitrogen and 8% slow release nitrogen. To calculate % slow release nitrogen, you divide the amount of slow release nitrogen by the total amount of nitrogen and then multiply it by 100%. The bag pictured has 50% Slow release nitrogen. This bag meets the legal requirements to apply it to your lawn October through May.