Water-Related News

Lee County reminds residents that fertilizer restrictions are in effect June 1-Sept. 30

Lee County logo

FORT MYERS – Lee County Government is reminding homeowners and professional landscapers to stop fertilizing from June 1 to Sept. 30. During the summer rainy season, fertilizers containing nitrogen or phosphorus may not be applied to turf and/or landscape plants in unincorporated Lee County.

During this time of year when Southwest Florida sees the most rain, improper and unnecessary fertilization can result in runoff that sends nutrients meant to feed your lawn into our waterways. These excess nutrients can have negative effects on county waterbodies and feed harmful aquatic algae that hurt local wildlife and wash ashore on our beaches.

Protecting Southwest Florida’s water quality during the summer months means adjusting lawncare routines. Homeowners should stop fertilizing and start trimming trees and preparing outdoor areas for hurricane season. Lee County encourages residents and professional landscapers to follow the summer ordinance and use the following practices year-round:

  1. Don’t fertilize your lawn if rain is forecasted – Rainfall may wash away fertilizer or cause it to leach through the soil and into waterways
  2. Keep fertilizer at least 10 feet from bodies of water and hard surfaces
  3. Sweep up spills – Never use a hose to wash away spilled granules. This can lead to unwanted nutrients in storm drains and waterways

To heighten awareness about the fertilizer ordinance, Lee County is launching a refreshed campaign. The “Stop Fertilizing Gnome Matter What” campaign features a gnome named “Lee” with a call to action for residents to follow the guidelines and commit to safe lawncare and landscaping practices. Keep an eye out for Lee in television ads, billboards, social media posts and more in the coming months.

For more information on how to fertilize smart, visit FertilizeSmart.com.