Nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizer ban in effect for parts of the Suncoast

Nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizer ban in effect for parts of the Suncoast
Nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizer ban.

SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. (WWSB) - It’s that time of year again to be aware of the fertilizers that are being used on lawns and landscapes.

Fertilizers with nitrogen and phosphorous is prohibited for Sarasota County residents through September 30th. Manatee County also has restrictions. In both counties, some cities and towns have their own rules when it comes to these types of fertilizers.

Dr. Pat Williams with University of Florida IFAS Extension Sarasota County says he’s in support of this fertilizer ban.

“I think it’s very important, we’re all trying to save water, we’re all trying to be the best for our environment, we’re all trying to leave something for our kids and our grandkids and I think it’s all of our responsibilities to do the right thing,” said Williams.

Williams says these types of fertilizers could be contributing to red tide but he tells us the science isn’t there at this time to indicate it’s causing it.

Many people we talked with say they are happy to see counties and towns taking this proactive approach to help keep the Suncoast waterways healthy and clean.

“It means everything, without a healthy water quality the beach means nothing, it’s our duty to protect it,” said Mike Holderness, a Siesta Key business owner.

You’re being encouraged to contact your city or town to find out what the fertilizer rules are for your specific community. Here are some tips to keep your yard looking healthy:

  • Look for fertilizers with 0-0 as the first two numbers on the label
  • Apply iron found at most garden centers
  • Use compost to enrich the soil

“When it comes to lawns, every time we mow and we return the grass clippings to the lawn we are returning a complete fertilizer that will decompose and release the nutrients back again so it’s a closed cycle,” said Williams. "So everybody’s lawn will be just perfectly fine all summer long without any additional fertilizer.

For more information on the ban and what you should know about fertilizers, you can go here or here.

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