May 24, 2012 - Tampa Bay Estuary Program (TBEP) and its partners in the Be Floridian fertilizer education campaign remind residents of Manatee, Pinellas and Tampa that a summer ban on using nitrogen fertilizer begins on June 1. Homeowners and lawn care professionals alike cannot apply nitrogen or phosphorous to lawns and landscape plants from June through September.
But that doesn't mean your yard will turn brown, shrivel up and die!
Garden centers throughout the region offer a variety of "summer-safe" yard products that will help you keep your landscape green and growing throughout our long, hot summer. These products comply fully with local fertilizer ordinances - ensuring that our efforts to maintain an attractive landscape don't pollute our ponds, rivers, bays and the Gulf of Mexico.
True Floridians know better than to fertilize in the summer, when our frequent rains can wash fertilizer residues down storm drains and into our waters. Instead, they follow these Florida-friendly lawn care practices:
Pump some iron. An application of iron, readily available at most garden centers, will keep your lawn green during the summer.
For more information about gardening for Florida, visit www.befloridian.org
- Micro-size It! Apply potassium and magnesium instead of nitrogen to keep your grass healthy.
- Get Better Dirt. Mix in composted cow or chicken manure, or your own home compost, to enrich your soil. It's like giving vitamins to your yard.
- Pick better plants. Buy plants adapted to Florida's hot, humid climate and plant them in the right place according to their sun and water needs. They'll need less water, fertilizer and chemicals year-round, and you'll have more time for bicycling, boating, grilling or just relaxing by the pool sipping a drink with a little umbrella in it.
For more information about Tampa's fertilizer ordinance, visit www.tampagov.net/stormwater
(Source: Tampa Bay Estuary Program)
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