An edition of: WaterAtlas.orgPresented By: Seminole County, USF Water Institute

Water-Related News

Seminole County Commission enacts new fertilizer ordinance

News Image

Stormwater runoff is a major source of pollution flowing into our natural waterbodies. Seminole County Board of County Commissioners approved a "NEW" Fertilizer Ordinance, effective February 28, 2017, that regulates fertilizers containing nitrogen and/or phosphorous and provides specific management guidelines for fertilizer application in order to minimize negative impacts to our natural waterbodies. Enforcement of the Fertilizer Ordinance will not begin until October 1, 2017. This ordinance is only for unincorporated Seminole County at this time.

Key Highlights of the Fertilizer Ordinance

  • Fertilizer containing nitrogen or phosphorous cannot be applied to turf during the restricted season from June 1st – September 30th. Fertilizers containing Iron, Manganese and other "micronutrients" also referred to as "summer blends" can be applied during the restricted season to keep lawns healthy and green (as recommended by Florida Yards Neighborhood/Florida Friendly Landscape Program).
  • Fertilizer containing nitrogen that is used during the non-restricted season (October 1st – May 31st) must contain at least 50% or more slow release nitrogen. This slow release nitrogen content will increase to 65%, three (3) years after adoption of the Fertilizer Ordinance to allow time for educational outreach to residents and retailers.
  • Fertilizer containing phosphorus cannot be applied to turf or plants unless a state certified soil or tissue test verifies that there is a phosphorus deficiency. For more information about soil & tissue testing, contact your local UF/IFAS Extension office at 407-665-5560. Click here for more information on Soil & Tissue Testing requirements.
  • Use of deflector shields are required when applying fertilizer if you are using a broadcast or rotary spreader.
  • No fertilizer may be applied within fifteen (15) feet of any pond, lake, stream, canal, or other waterbody, including wetlands.

Residents should apply only the amount of fertilizer needed, and should learn to read a fertilizer bag. Click here for instructions on how to properly calculate the percentage of slow release nitrogen in your fertilizer based on the bag's label.

The county also has a fertilizer calculator to help residents figure out how much to use. Click here to have access to that calculator.