Fertilizer Ordinances: Are They Going Away?

The first week of May 2023 legislative bills called “Land and Water Management” were sponsored in Florida (SB 1240 and HB 1197). The bills, if passed “prohibit counties & municipalities from adopting laws, regulations, rules, or policies relating to water quality or quantity, pollution control, discharge prevention or removal, or wetlands & preempts such regulation to the state.”

How would these bills affect fertilizer ordinances?

Either bill would prevent counties and municipalities from adopting or amending ordinances that restrict the application of nitrogen and phosphorus with the intent to improve or preserve water quality. As currently written, the bills should not affect ordinances that have previously been adopted in municipal code; however, would prevent counties and municipalities from adopting new or amending existing ordinances.

How does a bill become law?

An introduced bill is referred to one or more committees related to the bill’s subject. The bill goes through a series of committee hearings where the bill is studied and decisions are made on whether to amend, pass or fail the bill. If the bill reaches the governor’s desk, he may veto, sign, or decline to sign. If he signs or declines to sign, the bill becomes law 60 days later or on a date specified by the governor. As of May 5, 2023, the last day of the Florida legislative session, one of these proposed bills has gone to committee review, but has had no action since 3/7/23.

How do I find my fertilizer ordinance?

Almost all of Florida’s highly urbanized counties and/or municipalities have fertilizer ordinances. Use the App linked below to find your county or municipality. Scroll to zoom in and click on your location or use the search bar to enter an address. After a few seconds a right-side bar will open with menu selections containing detailed information. The last menu selection contains a link to the full ordinance for that area.

Florida Fertilizer Ordinances


It is highly unlikely that fertilizer ordinances will go away. Follow your county or municipality rules.

For more information on fertilizer and ordinances:

Fertilizer Ordinances: Why Do We Have Them?

How to Interpret a Fertilizer Label

Summary of Hillsborough County’s Fertilizer Ordinance

For more information visit the UF/IFAS Extension Hillsborough County website or contact Susan Haddock, Professional Horticulture/IPM Agent 813-744-5519 Ext. 54103, szcrmchz@ufl.edu

UF/IFAS Extension Hillsborough County

An Equal Opportunity Institution. UF/IFAS Extension, University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Andra Johnson, Dean for UF/IFAS Extension. 


Posted: May 5, 2023

Category: Florida-Friendly Landscaping, Horticulture, Lawn, Turf, Water
Tags: Algae Blooms, Black Out, Fertilizer, Fertilizer Ordinances, Fertilizer Restrictions, Nitrogen, Phosphorous, Water Quality

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