Fertilizer Guidelines for Florida

Protect our lakes and streams, fertilize sparingly and choose the right products.

June 1 - September 30
Just say no - Avoid fertilizer that contains nitrogen or phosphorus from June 1 to September 30.

Know your bag - Look for the three numbers that show the major nutrient content. 10-0-5 indicates (in order) Nitrogen - Phosphorus - Potassium. Select a fertilizer where the first and third numbers are equal or in a 2:1 ratio and the middle number is zero, or as low as possible.

Pump some iron - Use Florida-friendly fertilizer products that contain iron and other micro-nutrients to green up your lawn during the summer

Veggies get a pass - Nitrogen and phosphorus products can be used to fertilize vegetable gardens. Just avoid rainy days.

Get better dirt - Fertilizer isn't always the answer. Give your garden a boost by adding compost, composted cow manure, perlite or other soil enhancements.

October 1 - May 31
Watch the weather - Never fertilize when it's going to rain. Rainstorms wash away the fertilizer which finds its way into local lakes and streams.

Go slow by half - If lawn and landscape fertilizers contain nitrogen, at lest 50% of the nitrogen should be slow-release. Other names for slow-release are "timed release," "controlled release" or "slowly available."

Twice is nice - Fertilize only twice a year. Once in April, at the start of the growing season, and once in October to feed grass before winter dormancy.

Save money - Slow-release fertilizers nourish lawns and plants gradually, over a longer period of time. That saves money and is better for the environment.