Winter Fertilizer Ban from December to February

​The Alachua County Environmental Protection Department (EPD) reminds residents and commercial and institutional applicators that the Alachua County Commission adopted a new Fertilizer Standards and Management Code on May 24, 2016. The code bans fertilizer application from December through February.

The ordinance includes the following standards:

  • 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, and 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 waterbodies.
  • Fertilizers shall not be applied within a minimum of ten feet from any waterbody unless a deflector shield is used (in which case 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 (FDACS) Commercial Fertilizer Applicator.

“Fertilizers are one of the main sources of pollution to our surface waters, groundwater, and springs,” said EPD Water Conservation Coordinator Stacie Greco. She continued, “Eliminating or reducing fertilizer use in yards will save money while helping to improve the health of our local waterbodies, especially in the winter. Lawns go dormant in the winter, so fertilizers are not used by plants and will leach into groundwater or runoff into surface waters.”

EPD has more information about the Fertilizer Standards and Management Code on their website.

For more information, contact Gus Olmos at 352-264-6806 or

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