On June 1, many local fertilizer ordinances start the “blackout period”, a restricted time of year where no fertilizers containing nitrogen or phosphorus are to be applied. What does that mean for Polk County?
It is important that residents in Polk County know what the local fertilizer ordinance states.
What is the purpose of a fertilizer ordinance?
The purpose of the fertilizer ordinance in Polk County is to reduce nutrient leaching and runoff from improper fertilizer use, particularly nitrogen and phosphorus, the nutrients most associated with pollution issues in waterbodies. Polk County has had a fertilizer management ordinance in place since 2013.
What are the restrictions/requirements in the fertilizer ordinance?
- No fertilizer shall be applied within 10 feet of any waterbody or wetland.
- A low maintenance zone is strongly encouraged within 10 feet of any waterbody or wetland.
- A maximum of 1 pound of slow release nitrogen per 1,000 sq. ft. per application. A maximum of 0.5 pound of water soluble nitrogen per 1,000 sq. ft. per application.
- No fertilizer containing nitrogen or phosphorous shall be applied before seeding or sodding and not for the first 30 days after seeding or sodding.
- Any fertilizer spilled on an impervious surface (like a driveway, sidewalk, or road) must be removed. Fertilizer must never be swept, washed, or blown off onto any impervious surface, stormwater drain, or any waterbody.
- Fertilizer spreaders must be equipped with a deflector shield to prevent fertilizer from being applied to impervious surfaces.
- Grass clippings and vegetative material must never be swept, washed, or blown off onto any impervious surface, stormwater drain, or any waterbody.
- No fertilizer containing nitrogen or phosphorous shall be applied during severe weather or if rain is likely to exceed 2 inches within 24 hours.
How can a Polk County resident learn more about the fertilizer ordinance?
For more information, contact UF/IFAS Extension Polk County at (863) 519-1041 or visit us online at http://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/polk. The Plant Clinic is open Monday-Friday, 9:00 am-4:00 pm to answer your gardening and landscaping questions. Give us a call or email us at email@example.com.
If you are not in Polk County, Contact your local UF/IFAS Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Plant Clinic.
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