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Fertilize Responsibly

Protect our springs, lakes and rivers

Fertilizer Facts

Many fertilizers contain nitrogen and phosphorus, also known as nutrients. Pollution from nutrients harms our natural waterbodies – springs, lakes and rivers – by causing algae blooms and poor water quality. How does nutrient pollution get there? When yards are over-fertilized, the excess nitrogen and phosphorus flow with rainwater into the same stormwater system designed to keep your property and roads from flooding during heavy rain. By doing something as simple as choosing fertilizer carefully and applying it properly, together we can make a big impact on the health of our natural water bodies.

How-To Videos

Reading fertilizer Label video
Reading a Fertilizer Label
Measuring Your Yard video
Measuring Your Yard
calibrating spreader video
Calibrating a Broadcast Spreader

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Rules to Follow

Restricted Season: June 1 - September 30
Residential and Commercial Use
  • All areas of property covered by lawn, turf and landscape plants are subject to the fertilizer ordinance.
  • Fertilizers containing phosphorus are prohibited unless soil test shows deficiency.
  • Fertilizers containing nitrogen applied in Orange County must contain 50 percent slow release nitrogen, until 65 percent slow-release becomes available (expected by July 2020).
  • Deflector shields must be in place when broadcast spreaders are used next to streets, inlets, ditches, conveyances and waterways.
  • No fertilizer or grass clippings shall be deposited on streets, driveways or in storm drains.
  • No fertilizer can be applied within 15 feet from waterways.
  • Application sites must maintain a 10-foot low maintenance zone – planted area with no fertilizing, mowing or maintenance – adjacent to water bodies.
  • No fertilizer shall be applied when the National Weather Service issues any advisory for severe thunderstorm, flood, tropical storm or hurricane.
Commercial and Business Use Only
Trained applicator decal
  • Commercial applicators must show proof of training by displaying decals on vehicles used during application.
  • Proof of training must be provided in order to obtain an Orange County local business tax certificate for businesses that provide landscape services.
  • Commercial applicators who need decals can contact EPD@ocfl.net with proof of training to have decals mailed to their business.

Retail Businesses

Trained applicator decal
  • Retail businesses that sell fertilizer must post a notice provided by Orange County regarding the ordinance.
  • Retailers who need posters may download a digital poster or contact EPD@ocfl.net to have posters mailed to their business.

Business Exemption

  • Golf courses, bona-fide agricultural operation and sports fields are exempt from the ordinance.
Consequences of Noncompliance

Residential

  • First violations: written notice
  • Second violation: $50 fine
  • Third and subsequent violations: $100 fine

Commercial

  • First violations: written notice
  • Second violation: $500 fine
  • Third and subsequent violations: $750 fine

Contact Us

Orange County Environmental Protection Division
3165 McCrory Place, Suite 200
Orlando, FL 32803

Email: EPD@ocfl.net
Phone: (407) 836-1400
Fax: (407) 836-1499

All e-mail sent to this address becomes part of Orange County public record. Comments received by our e-mail subsystem can be read by anyone who requests that privilege. In compliance with "Government in the Sunshine" laws, Orange County Government must make available, at request, any and all information not deemed a threat to the security of law enforcement agencies and personnel.