Florida Yards &
Neighborhoods (FYN)
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FYN Principle #3 -
Fertilize Appropriately

Charlotte County’s fertilizer ordinance does apply to homeowners spreading fertilizer.  Florida’s typically sandy, nutrient-poor soil sometimes makes it necessary to add fertilizer to maximize plant health.  If you are using fertilizer, follow these tips to stay within the guidelines of the ordinance, to save you time and money while protecting the health of Florida’s environment:

  • All fertilizers containing nitrogen should be at least 50% slow release nitrogen.  Click the fertilizer label to see an example.

  • All fertilizer and grass clippings should be swept off impervious surfaces, to preClick here to see what to look for on your fertilizer labelvent excess nutrient runoff.

  • Phosphorous found in fertilizer may not be applied in excess of 0.25 pounds per 1,000 square feet per application, or 0.5 pounds per 1,000 square feet per year.

  • Maintain a mandatory fertilizer-free zone within 10 feet of any water body or wetland (or 3 feet if a deflector shield is used).  Deflector shields are key to making sure fertilizer only ends up on your lawn!

  • If you use a landscape company for fertilizer application, make sure they are certified through the Green Industries Best Management Practices (BMP’s).  They will have a logo decal in the wDisplay of this logo indicates a certified BMP professionalindow of the company truck (shown to the right).  Feel free to contact our office at 764-4340 for a list of BMP-certified landscape professionals.

  • Have your soil tested; many Florida soils are high in Phosphorus and therefore do not require any more from fertilizer.  To have your soil tested, print out the following form:
    http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/SS/SS18700.pdf
    Follow the instructions for taking samples and mail samples in a plastic bag to the University of Florida Soil Testing Laboratory.

  • Only use the amount of fertilizer specified on the package; more is not better.  Over-fertilizing will result in more pruning and mowing for you, and make your plant more susceptible to disease and pests because of its fast, weak growth.

  • Consider using native plants that have adapted to our soils (or suitable exotic plants) that do not require supplemental fertilization. A 6-foot low maintenance plant zone is recommended adjacent to any water body or wetland.  This zone will allow excess nutrients and pollutants to be absorbed and filtered by plants, rather than running into the waterways.

  • Use compost to add nutrients, improve soil structure, texture and aeration, and increase the soil’s water holding capacity.

 
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Principle #5 | Principle #6 | Principle #7 | Principle #8 |
Principle #9