SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Sarasota County is reminding residents that use of nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers on landscapes is restricted beginning June 1 through Sept. 30.
The measure is an effort to protect the community’s waterways. The fertilizer restriction ordinance reduces the nutrients in stormwater and helps to protect natural habitats where runoff can occur.
Experts say that the frequency and amount of rain we experience during the summer months causes fertilizer to be washed away before it can be absorbed into the landscape. The nutrients found in fertilizer, particularly nitrogen and phosphorus, add to what is already a nutrient rich environment in our local water bodies.
Excessive nutrients contribute to algae blooms, diminish water quality and threaten aquatic life.
Here are some tips to nourish your landscape while protecting the environment.
- Use only fertilizers with zero nitrogen and zero phosphorous.
- Apply iron, found at most garden centers, as an effective and environmentally friendly alternative to keep lawns green during the summer.
- Use compost to enrich the soil.
- Buy plants adapted to Florida's hot and humid climate.
- Mow higher to encourage deep roots that resist fungus and pests.
- Make sure grass clippings are swept or blown back into the yard, or recycled in a compost pile. Do not allow grass clippings to be washed into storm drains.
- If you're using a lawn care service or contractor, take a few minutes to talk with them about these tips, along with fertilizer restricted season.
- Adhere to watering restrictions; even-numbered addresses water only on Tuesday and odd-numbered addresses water only on Thursdays.
- Remember irrigation is prohibited between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. daily, learn more about water restriction here.