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Maintaining a nice yard can require a lot of work - not a lot of fertilizer.
Most fertilizers contain nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus. When used in excess, these nutrients can wash away during rain storms and flow into public stormwater collection systems. The polluted runoff can have harmful impacts to the water in Maitland’s scenic lakes.
Always use fertilizers minimally. Best management is to fertilize during the spring, when grass begins to green up, and to avoid fertilizing during summer months, when most yard turf is already at the peak of growth.
Maitland prohibits application of fertilizers containing nitrogen or phosphorus from June 1 through September 30. Good yard maintenance can be achieved during this time of the year with reasonable irrigation and regular cutting that does not trim the grass too short.
Here are some other important considerations regarding fertilizer use:
• All areas of property covered by lawn, turf and landscape plants are subject to the fertilizer ordinance.
• All institutional applicators of fertilizers are required to take the UF/IFAS Green Industries Best Management Practices (GI-BMP).
• Fertilizers containing phosphorus are prohibited unless soil test shows deficiency.
• Fertilizers containing nitrogen and used between Oct. 1 and May 31 must contain 65 percent slow-release nitrogen.
• Deflector shields must be in place when broadcast spreaders are used next to streets, inlets, ditches, conveyances and waterways.
• No fertilizer or grass clippings shall be deposited on or blown into streets, driveways or in storm drains.
• No fertilizer can be applied within 25 feet from natural water bodies.
• Application sites are recommended to maintain a 10-foot low maintenance zone – planted area with no fertilizing, mowing or maintenance – adjacent to most water bodies.
• Fertilizer must not be applied within 24 hours of forecasted or imminent rain storms.