Monday, September 10, 2007

Protecting Sarasota's Waters

Help Protect Our Waters
Follow the Sarasota County Fertilizer Regulations Now

Fertilizer ordinance information:

On August 27th the Sarasota County Commission took a huge step to protect our waters by passing the strongest ordinance in the state to control the use of fertilizer. The Training related part of the ordinance does not take effect until 180 days after it is filed with the state.

We urge that homeowners and lawn care professionals begin today to follow the other new regulations now.

Here is what you should do now:

  • Do not apply fertilizer with Nitrogen and Phosphorus to your lawns during the summer rainy months of June through September.
  • Do not apply any fertilizer within 10 feet of any body of water. If you live on the bay or the gulf, we suggest you use a larger setback: 25 to 50 feet.
  • When you do apply fertilizer in spring or fall, use a blend that has at least 50% timed or slow release and apply no more than 2 lbs nitrogen and 1/4 lb phosphorus (if needed) per 1000 sq. feet per application. Four pounds nitrogen and 1/2 pound phosphorus are the maximum allowed per year.

Here is what you can do for future:

  • Remove as much sod as possible in favor of beds of Florida Native plants or Perennial Peanut or Sunshine Mimosa (they need no fertilizer or watering once established), mulched with Melaluca (an invasive plant) mulch (do not use Cypress mulch as wetland trees are cut down and ground up to make it).
  • If you live near a pond or other water element, plant aquatic plants at the edges. Some decorative types are: Pickerelweed, Duck Potato, Canna Lily and Water Lily. Grants are available from Sarasota County, Sarasota Bay Estuary Program and Southwest Florida Water Management District.

These things will help to jump-start restoration of our waters, bays and gulf.

Note: Melaluca Mulch may be purchased at Troy’s Tropics, Albritton’s Nursery, Florida Native Plant Nursery and others. Florikan makes the fertilizer blend.

For more information contact:

Healthy Gulf Coalition Ph: 906-8176;

Sierra Club Ph: 951-6084;

Sarasota County NEST program Ph: 861-0929;

Beautiful Ponds, Inc Ph: 488-1942;

Sarasota Bay Estuary Program Ph: 955-8085

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