Hold the fertilizer this summer to help Sarasota Bay

The partners of the “Be Floridian” fertilizer education campaign remind Sarasota and Manatee County residents they cannot apply nitrogen or phosphorus to their lawn or plants during the summer season. Both Sarasota and Manatee counties ban application of fertilizers from June 1 through Sept. 30.

Not using fertilizers in the summer reduces the amount of chemicals running into Sarasota Bay through the storm drain system following rainfalls. The heavy amount of nitrogen and phosphorus has an adverse impact on water quality and aquatic life.

Garden centers throughout the area offer a variety of products that will help keep landscapes green and growing through the summer months. These “summer-safe” products comply with local fertilizer ordinances. Other practices that are good for this area include applying products with potassium or magnesium, mixing in composted cow or chicken manure to enrich the soil, applying iron, and planting Florida native plants, which require less water and fertilizer.

SBEP is a partner of the Be Floridian Fertilizer Education Campaign sponsored by Tampa Bay Estuary Program (TBEP). To “Be Floridian” is to be aware of suitable practices and products. Fertilizing less means having more time to do fun things like go to the beach or enjoy outdoor recreation. Learn more at befloridian.org and sarasotabay.org.

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