Summer Fertilizer Ban for Sarasota and Manatee Counties through Sept. 30

Local ordinances for Sarasota and Manatee counties ban the use of fertilizer containing nitrogen and phosphorus June 1 through Sept. 30. Why? It’s rainy season. Saturated ground means the fertilizer you just put down will be flushed into local waters and worsen algae blooms that harm human health, wildlife and the environment.

But wait a sec, didn’t you see a landscape company spreading fertilizer a few days ago? Well, you may very well have. That’s because communities can still fertilize with products that don’t contain nitrogen or phosphorous. Fertilizer without these ingredients isn’t as effective, but nutrients can still work their way down into the soil. ArtisTree Landscape Maintenance & Design applies this type during the summer ban ONLY if we are specifically asked to do so. Otherwise, we remain strictly code-compliant so our waterways stay healthy. If you see fertilizer being applied in your community and wonder if it’s legal, ask to see the bags. You’ll get your answer pretty quickly.

Bottom line: As Sarasota County’s website advises, “Say no to nitrogen.” And why not use phosphorus? Because Sarasota County is already rich in that stuff. Instead, green up your landscape with micro-nutrients. Improve your dirt by adding compost to your soil. And what about grass clippings? Leave them on the lawn. If you mow high and frequently, it shouldn’t be a problem at all. And besides, mowing short just stresses your grass and invites pests and diseases. Mowing high allows it to develop deeper roots to withstand dry spells.

To browse more information so all this can better sink in, visit Manatee ordinance and Sarasota ordinance. And while you’re at it, might as well see how you can Be Floridian and save our lakes and bays for fun.

Now that we have all this out of the way, what do you say about getting that dream landscape of yours started? Call ArtisTree at 941.488.8897, and we’ll be happy to send out a designer to discuss your needs. Or, if your community’s HOA board is collecting landscape maintenance proposals this summer, contact Mike Casper at mikec@artistree.com.

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