You could call us the Florida East Coast Society for Preserving Florida for Boating, Fishing, and Drinks with Little Umbrellas. Be Floridian Now is calling on all Floridians to help protect what makes Florida so fun. Unless newcomers learn that the rules for yard work are a little different here, we will spoil the reason so many of us enjoy living here.
In Florida, summer rains don’t water fertilizer in — they wash it off our lawns and into our rivers, lagoon, and ocean. The excess nitrogen and phosphorus in the water feeds algae blooms that use up oxygen, kill fish and turn the water the color of pea soup. As more and more people move to our area, the problem gets bigger and bigger.
So help us make sure everyone knows to skip the fertilizer this summer. Together, we Floridians can protect our fun by saving our rivers, lakes, and estuaries one yard at a time.
Find out information about the fertilizer ordinance here.
An algae bloom (or algal bloom) is the rapid, excessive growth of plant-like organisms called algae. Algae often occurs in nature, but when it blooms, the large quantity of algae covers the surface of the water like a blanket, blocking sunlight from plants on the bottom and requiring oxygen from the water to survive. The blanket of algae causes a low-oxygen environment in the water, which can lead to fish kills and dead zones in our waterways.
The sudden growth of algae is caused by excess nutrients, like nitrates and phosphates, in the water body. Nitrates and phosphates come from a variety of sources, including runoff and leaching from turfgrass fertilizer and septic systems. In Florida, summer rains don’t water fertilizer in—they wash it off our lawns and into our surface and groundwater bodies.
Following Volusia County’s fertilizer ordinance can help residents and lawn care companies lessen their impact on our local water bodies. The ordinance includes a ban on the application of any product containing nitrogen or phosphorus from June 1st through September 30th. Outside of that ban, from October 1st through May 30th, any nitrogen that is applied must be at least 50% slow-release. Phosphorus may not be applied at any time of the year without a proven deficiency from a soil test.
From October 1st through May 30th, if you must fertilize, just remember “Twice is Nice”. Fertilize once in the spring, and once in the fall, with 50% or more slow-release nitrogen.
Together, we Floridians can protect our fun by saving our rivers, springs,
lakes, and lagoon, one yard at a time – Be Floridian Now!
For more tips on how to fertilize like a Floridian, visit BeFloridianNow.org.