Martin County’s rainy season fertilizer ban in effect; helps improve water quality
The use of fertilizer in unincorporated Martin County is prohibited from June 1-September 30. This four-month summertime prohibition period aims to reduce the amount of harmful nutrients entering local water bodies, a crucial step towards improving and maintaining water and habitat quality. Fertilizers containing nitrogen and/or phosphorous cannot be used on turf, sod, lawns or landscape plants during this time, as referenced to in the County’s fertilizer ordinance. Further information about Martin County’s fertilizer rules may be found on Martin County’s website, www.martin.fl.us under “Hot Topics.”
The ordinance originally approved in 2011 was revised in 2014 by the Martin County Board of County Commissioners to include stricter guidelines. Source control is a cost-effective way of removing nitrogen and phosphorous from our waterways. Five dollars’ worth of phosphorous costs local governments $5,000-$50,000 to remove from the waterway. Adhering to the summer-time application ban is one way our citizens can be a part of the solution to protecting our water resources – one lawn at a time.
The ordinance applies to anyone – personal or professional – landscaping in unincorporated Martin County. It does provide exemptions for agriculture, golf courses, and specialized turf, such as athletic fields.
The ordinance requires the registration and training of both professional landscapers and institutional landscapers, and sets best-management landscape and fertilizer practices. Training for landscapers will be provided through the University of Florida Martin County Extension Service.
All commercial and institutional applicators within the unincorporated area of Martin County are required to successfully complete the Green Industries Best Management Practices Program training and apply for certification by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services prior to obtaining a Local Business Tax Certificate for any occupation which may apply any fertilizer to turf and/or landscape.