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

Water-Related News

Longboat Key fertilizer restrictions begin June 1st

LBK logo

Residents and landscapers are reminded that the Town of Longboat Key’s Fertilizer Management Ordinance prohibits the application of fertilizers containing nitrogen and/or phosphorous between June 1 and Sept. 30.

Summer rain showers can wash fertilizers from our lawns into Sarasota Bay and Gulf waters. Stormwater runoff carrying the nitrogen and phosphorus from fertilizers can cause harmful algal blooms, impacting aquatic life.

That is why the Town of Longboat Key prohibits the use of fertilizer containing nitrogen and phosphorus during the Summer rainy season, and why at least 50 percent slow-release fertilizer is required during the rest of the year. In addition, all applicators of fertilizer within the Town, other than private homeowners on their own property, are required to abide by and have successfully completed an approved best management practices training program.

During the SUMMER: June 1 - September 30

  • Say no to nitrogen. Longboat Key prohibits the use of any fertilizer containing nitrogen or phosphorus from June 1 through September 30.
  • Green up with iron. Iron products with micro-nutrients keep lawns green through summer.
  • Get better dirt. Add compost to improve your soil and give your garden a boost.
  • Use Florida-friendly plants. Plants adapted to Florida need less fertilizer, water, pesticides and overall care.
  • Keep the clippings. Leave grass clippings on your lawn. Mow high for health. Mowing short stresses grass and makes it vulnerable to disease, pests and drought.

During the WINTER/SPRING: October 1 - May 31

  • Watch the weather. Rainstorms don't help fertilizers soak in, they wash fertilizers away.
  • Go slow by half. Longboat Key requires at least 50 percent slow-release nitrogen in lawn or landscape fertilizers.
  • Blue not green. Keep fertilizer at least 10 feet away from waterways.
  • Be on your guard. Use a spreader with a deflector shield or edge guard to spread fertilizer. Test your turf. If the problem is a pH imbalance, pest invasion or disease, then fertilizer is not going to help.

The Town of Longboat Key is one of more than 90 Florida communities that have Summertime fertilizer restrictions. Maintaining healthy waters helps to maintain the Town’s goals of enhancing the quality of life and fostering civic pride for its residents and visitors.