Seminole Co. Passes Fertilizer Ordinance


An important first step has been taken by Seminole County, when they recently placed restrictions on lawn fertilizers.  We heartily commend the wise county leaders for this action. We say first step, however,  because our goal is to eliminate fertilizers for lawns and we hope they continue to work in that direction.

If we do not initiate actions such as this, we will soon be without clean water to drink.  We have only to look at the algae epidemics to see where we are headed.  Thank you Seminole County, for your wisdom and leadereship!

Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
-A river is like a life:  once taken, it cannot be brought back-


Fertilizer Ordinance

Fertilizer Ordinance

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Stormwater runoff is a major source of pollution flowing into our natural waterbodies.  Seminole County Board of County Commissioners approved a “NEW” Fertilizer Ordinance, effective February 28, 2017, that regulates fertilizers containing nitrogen and/or phosphorous and provides specific management guidelines for fertilizer application in order to minimize negative impacts to our natural waterbodies.  Enforcement of the Fertilizer Ordinance will not begin until October 1, 2017.  This ordinance is only for unincorporated Seminole County at this time.  The education materials and resources below further explain the proposed “NEW” Ordinance.

Key Highlights of the Fertilizer Ordinance

  • Fertilizer containing nitrogen or phosphorous cannot be applied to turf during the restricted season from June 1st – September 30th.  Fertilizers containing Iron, Manganese and other “micronutrients” also referred to as “summer blends” can be applied during the restricted season to keep lawns healthy and green (as recommended by Florida Yards Neighborhood/Florida Friendly Landscape Program).
  • Fertilizer containing nitrogen that is used during the non-restricted season (October 1st – May 31st) must contain at least 50% or more slow release nitrogen.  This slow release nitrogen content will increase to 65%, three (3) years after adoption of the Fertilizer Ordinance to allow time for educational outreach to residents and retailers.
  • Fertilizer containing phosphorus cannot be applied to turf or plants unless a state certified soil or tissue test verifies that there is a phosphorus deficiency.  For more information about soil & tissue testing, contact your local UF/IFAS Extension office at 407-665-5560.  Click here for more information on Soil & Tissue Testing requirements.
  • Use of deflector shields are required when applying fertilizer if you are using a broadcast or rotary spreader.
  • No fertilizer may be applied within fifteen (15) feet of any pond, lake, stream, canal, or other waterbody, including wetlands.

The overall goal of this ordinance is to minimize excess fertilizer runoff and protect the County’s natural water resources.  More information can be found at the links below.


Fertilizer Calculator

Draft Fertilizer Ordinance

State of Florida Model Fertilizer Ordinance

Ordinance Comparison Table (Seminole County and State Model)

Fertilizer Ordinance Definitions

Frequently Asked Questions

Summertime Product List by Manufacturer

How to Calculate Slow Release Nitrogen (SRN)


Contact Information

Shannon Wetzel, Principal Environmental Scientist

Address: 200 West County Home Road, Sanford, FL 32773
Phone: 407-665-2455
Fax: 407-665-5600

Marie Lackey, Outreach Coordinator

Address: 200 West County Home Road, Sanford, FL 32773
Phone: 407-665-2424
Fax: 407-665-5600

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