County Requires Signage Regarding Winter Fertilizer Ban from December through February

The Alachua County Commission amended the Fertilizer Standards and Management Code on October 23, 2018, requiring establishments selling fertilizers to display signage provided by Alachua County.

The ordinance also includes the following standards for landscape fertilizers:

  • Fertilizers containing nitrogen and/or phosphorus may not be applied during the winter ban (December, January, and February), when soils are saturated with water, before a heavy rain, or for the first 30 days after seeding or sodding.
  • Fertilizers spilled on impervious surfaces must be removed immediately, and may not be blown or washed into stormwater systems or water bodies.
  • Fertilizers shall not be applied within a minimum of ten feet from any waterbody unless a deflector shield is used (then a minimum distance of three feet is required).
  • Grass clippings must be removed from streets, sidewalks, and driveways immediately.
  • Fertilizer must be stored in areas protected from rainfall and stormwater runoff.
  • All commercial and institutional applicators shall successfully complete the Florida Friendly Best Management Practices for Water Resources by the Green Industries training and carry evidence that they are a Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Commercial Fertilizer Applicator.


“Fertilizers are one of the main sources of pollution to our surface waters, groundwater, and springs, so we want to ensure that citizens are aware of the winter ban,” said Alachua County Environmental Protection Department Interim Water Resources Program Supervisor Stacie Greco. She continued, “Eliminating or reducing fertilizer use in yards will save money while helping to improve the health of our local water bodies, especially in the winter. Lawns go dormant in the winter, so fertilizers are not used by plants, and will leach into groundwater or run off into surface waters.”

For more information, visit the Alachua County Water Resources website.

View the signage that is to be displayed at retail fertilizer stores.

Staff is currently distributing signage to retailers throughout Alachua County. To request signage or to report the absence of signage, contact Stacie Greco at 352-264-6829 or

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