Fertilizer Regulations

Questions and Answers About Islamorada Fertilizer Regulations

Can I apply fertilizer on my property, or do I have to hire a professional?

You can apply fertilizer to your property. A summary is provided below; please refer to the fertilizer portion of Sec. 30-812 of the Code of Ordinances for full regulations.

Can fertilizer by applied at any time of year?

No. Fertilizer shall not be applied from June 1 through September 30 annually. Additionally, fertilizer shall not be applied any time a Flood Watch or Warning, or a Tropical Storm Watch or Warning, or a Hurricane Watch or Warning is in effect for any portion of the county, issued by the National Weather Service, or if heavy rain is likely.

I live on a canal, open water, or wetland. Are there restrictions?

Yes. Fertilizer shall not be applied within 15 feet from the top of a seawall or from any canal, shoreline, wetland or creek.

Is there a limit to how much fertilizer I can use?

Yes. Please see Sec. 30-812 of the Code of Ordinances for the complete regulations, but here is a brief summary:

  • Nitrogen shall not be applied at an application rate greater than 0.7 lbs of readily available nitrogen per one thousand (1,000) square feet at any one time.
  • No more than one (1) pound total nitrogen per one thousand (1,000) square feet applied at any one time.
  • Nitrogen application shall not to exceed the nitrogen recommendations set forth in the table to the right on an annual basis:
  • Phosphorous shall only be applied after a soil and or plant tissue sample indicates a deficiency. If a deficiency is detected, no phosphorous fertilizer shall be applied at application rates which exceed 0.25 pounds phosphorous per one thousand (1,000) square feet per application nor exceed 0.50 pounds phosphorous per one thousand (1,000) square feet per year.

I am a landscaper and apply fertilizers. Does the Village require I have a certain certification?

Yes. All commercial and institutional applicators of fertilizer shall abide by and successfully complete the six-hour training program in the “Florida-friendly Best Management Practices for Protection of Water Resources by the Green Industries” offered by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection through the university of Florida Extension “Florida-Friendly Landscapes” program, or an approved equivalent. All commercial applicators of fertilizer shall abide by and successfully complete training and continuing education requirements in the “Florida-friendly Best Management Practices for Protection of Water Resources by the Green Industries,” offered by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection through the University of Florida IFAS “Florida-Friendly Landscapes” program, or an approved equivalent program, prior to obtaining a Business Tax Certificate or equivalent for any category of occupation which may apply any fertilizer to turf and/or landscape plants. Commercial Fertilizer Applicators shall provide proof of completion of the program. All commercial applicators of fertilizer shall have and carry in their possession at all times when applying fertilizer, evidence of certification by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services as a Commercial Fertilizer Applicator per 5E-14.117(18) F.A.C.

What other rules and regulations should I know about?

Please see Sec. 30-812 of the Code of Ordinances for the complete regulations. Here are some important regulations to note:

  • Fertilizer shall only be applied to actively growing turf and/or landscape plants.
  • The nitrogen content of fertilizer shall contain at least 50% slow release, controlled release, timed release, slowly available or water insoluble nitrogen per guaranteed analysis label.
  • Spreader deflector shields are required when fertilizing via rotary (broadcast) spreaders. Deflectors must be positioned such that fertilizer granules are deflected away from all impervious surfaces, fertilizer-free zones and water bodies, including wetlands.
  • In no case shall grass clippings, vegetative material, and/or vegetative debris be washed, swept, or blown off into canals, stormwater drains, ditches, conveyances, water bodies, wetlands, or sidewalks or roadways.

Are there additional resources to help me understand the fertilizer regulations?

Yes! Please contact the Village Biologist who is happy to answer your questions related to fertilizer. Additionally, please see our fertilizer fact sheet at the end of the Landscape Manual. The Landscape Manual is posted in Related Links on the Planning Department page of the Village website or a copy may be requested from the Planning Department.

Contact:
Environmental Coordinator (Village Biologist)
Daniel Parobok
Phone: 305-664-6497
Email: daniel.parobok@islamorada.fl.us