For immediate release: May 18, 2018
Contact: Dianne Hughes, Public Works Department, 772-219-4980
Protect summer fun and forget the fertilizer
To protect the water that we love for swimming and fishing, Martin County has an ordinance in place that restricts the application of lawn fertilizer from June 1-September 30. Beginning June 1, fertilizers containing phosphorus and nitrogen are banned. In fact, phosphorus is banned year-round, unless you have a soil or plant tissue test showing a phosphorus deficiency. Adhering to the summertime application ban is one way our citizens can be part of the solution to protect our water resources - one lawn at a time.
Martin County's fertilizer restrictions aim to reduce the amount of harmful nutrients entering local water bodies, a crucial step toward improving and maintaining water quality. Nutrients-primarily nitrogen and phosphorus-are key ingredients in lawn fertilizer. When it rains, fertilizer can wash into nearby storm drains and canals that empty into the St. Lucie River and contribute to the growth of algae blooms. Once in our waterways, excess fertilizers fuel algae blooms that block sunlight from reaching seagrasses, rob the water of oxygen and threaten underwater life.
The ordinance applies to anyone - personal or professional - landscaping in unincorporated Martin County. The fertilizer ordinance includes exceptions for agriculture, golf courses and athletic fields.
A list of summer safe yard products and tips on creating a Florida-friendly yard can be found on the website http://befloridiannow.org/. For more information on Martin County's fertilizer ordinance, visit www.martin.fl.us/Fertilizer.