Dr. Leesa Souto and colleagues recently published a peer-review scientific journal article evaluating the effectiveness of residential fertilizer ordinances on Florida’s west coast. The study demonstrates that fertilizer ordinance education successfully changed homeowner behavior and reduced pollutant loads in the Tampa Bay Area.
The Pinellas County ordinance has a sales restriction that requires that fertilizer retail stores remove non-compliant products from the shelves during the summer season. They are the only Florida county to have the sales ban, because immediately thereafter, the state legislature pre-empted any other local ordinance from doing the same thing. As a result, Pinellas County has the strongest fertilizer ordinance in the state - and according to this research, the most effective!
Every county along the lagoon and nearly every city has adopted a strong residential turf-grass fertilizer ordinance. The lagoon ordinances include the following things, but they can not require that retail stores remove illegal products from the shelves:
1) No nitrogen (N) can be applied to the lawn during the rainy season from June 1 – September 30
2) When fertilizing with nitrogen outside the rainy season, you must apply at least 50% slow-release N. For a list of compliant fertilizer products click
3) Do not apply phosphorus to the lawn, unless a soil test confirms the need for it.
4) Do not apply any fertilizer within 10’ of a water body. The set-back distance varies by city or county, so check your local ordinance
to view the complete research article,
Forging linkages between social drivers and ecological processes in the residential landscape