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What you need to know ahead of seasonal fertilizer ban

Numerous local governments restrict fertilizer use each year through the end of September.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Florida's annual summer rainy season is about to begin, and that means fertilizer bans are soon kicking in, too.

Across the Tampa Bay region, numerous fertilizer bans begin June 1 and run through Sept. 30.

Such policies are in place in Pinellas, Manatee and Sarasota counties, along with the cities of Tampa and St. Petersburg. Pasco County has a fertilizer ordinance in place year-round to help prevent pollution and also help preserve local water quality.

People can still use products with double zeroes on the fertilizer label and use plants that are Florida-friendly. You can find more tips on how to have a Florida-friendly landscape on the University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences website.

In a Tuesday email announcing the return of local fertilizer restrictions, the city of St. Petersburg explained the summer's increased rainfall can cause nutrient run-off and lead to environmental problems. When nutrients from fertilizer make their way into bodies of water, they can kill fish, cause algae blooms and negatively impact water quality.

The city suggested people living in the area follow the below "eco-friendly tips":

  • Treat lawns with a slow-release fertilizer in the spring or fertilizer-free micronutrients in the summer
  • Pick up any debris or vegetation near storm drains year-round to keep it from entering our waterways
  • Follow a no-mow zone six feet from any water body, helping to establish a protective barrier
  • Make sure lawn maintenance/landscaper is certified through Pinellas County
  • Replace some or all of lawn with Florida-friendly native plants

Click here for more information provided by the city.