An edition of: WaterAtlas.orgPresented By: Sarasota County, USF Water Institute

Water-Related News

Hold the Fertilizer this Summer to Help Sarasota Bay

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SARASOTA, FL – The partners of the Be Floridian fertilizer education campaign remind Sarasota and Manatee County residents they cannot apply nitrogen or phosphorus to their lawn or plants during the summer season. Sarasota and Manatee County ban application of fertilizers from June 1 through September 30.

Not using fertilizers in the summer reduces the amount of chemicals running into Sarasota Bay through the storm drain system following rainfalls. The heavy amount of nitrogen and phosphorus has an adverse impact on water quality and it can also harm aquatic life.

Garden centers throughout the area offer a variety of products that will help keep landscapes green and growing through the summer months. These “summer-safe” products comply with local fertilizer ordinances. Other practices that are good for local yards and Sarasota Bay include applying products with potassium or magnesium, mixing in composted cow or chicken manure to enrich the soil, applying iron, and planting Florida native plants which require less water and fertilizer.

The Sarasota Bay Estuary Program (SBEP) is a partner of the Be Floridian fertilizer education campaign sponsored by Tampa Bay Estuary Program. The idea behind the campaign is that many lawn care practices in other regions of the U.S. are not good for Florida lawns or water bodies. To “Be Floridian” is to be aware of suitable practices and products. Fertilizing less means having more time to do fun things like go to the beach or enjoy outdoor recreation. Learn more about Bay-friendly practices at and