Rainy season fertilizer restrictions begin June 1
- Lawn, landscape fertilizers with nitrogen and/or phosphorus may not be sold or used through Sept. 30.
- Phosphorus may not be used any time of year unless a soil test confirms the need.
- Keep fertilizer 10 feet away from the top of the bank of any surface water, landward edge of a seawall, or a designated wetland.
- Fertilizer runoff can pollute waterways and cause harmful algae blooms.
Pinellas County’s rainy season fertilizer restrictions will take effect Thursday, June 1, and will last through Sept. 30.
The County’s Fertilizer Ordinance prohibits the sale or application of lawn and landscape fertilizers containing nitrogen and/or phosphorus during that timeframe. Phosphorus cannot be used at any time of the year unless a soil test confirms it is needed. Also, fertilizer can never be applied within 10 feet of the top of a slope leading to a seawall, wetland, or waterbody.
The County regulates landscape maintenance practices all year, both for property owners who take care of their own lawns and for professionals. We all can use Best Management Practices to have healthy lawns and protect our local waterbodies from receiving excess nutrients.
The intent of the restrictions is to prevent fertilizer runoff and yard waste from harming lakes, ponds, rivers, Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico and from leaching into groundwater. Excess nitrogen and phosphorus can cause harmful algae blooms that lower oxygen levels and lead to fish kills.
Pinellas County recommends using summer-safe lawn care products and landscaping best management practices to keep a healthy landscape during the summer:
- Look for products with “0-0” as the first two numbers on the fertilizer label.
- Apply iron to keep lawns green during the summer without increasing growth.
- Use compost to enrich soil.
- Set lawn mower blade heights between 3½ to 4 inches for St. Augustine and Bahia turf to encourage deep roots that resist drought, fungus and pests.
- Water no more than ½”-¾” of irrigation twice a week and follow watering restrictions.
- Ensure an irrigation rain shutoff device is installed and working properly. Shut off irrigation system when rainfall is sufficient.
- Buy plants adapted to Florida’s hot and humid climate and plant them in places that suit their sun and water needs.
- Be aware that reclaimed water contains nitrogen and phosphorus; view our new information map.
- More information can be found here.
Pinellas County is one of more than 90 Florida communities that have summertime fertilizer restrictions.