Orange County Government, Florida

Fertilize Responsibly

Facts you need to know about lawn care

Protect Our Surface Waters

Nitrogen and phosphorus in our springs, lakes and rivers promotes algae growth and causes a decline in water quality. Learn how you can help.

Know The Rules

  1. Read the Orange County fertilizer ordinance.
  2. Equip broadcast spreaders with a deflector shield to keep fertilizer pellets away from impervious surfaces, water bodies and buffer areas.
  3. Keep fertilizer off of driveways and streets and out of storm drains, ditches and swales.
  4. Do not apply fertilizer within 10 feet of a lake, pond, stream, water course, canal or wetland.
  5. No fertilizer containing nitrogen or phosphorus shall be applied to turf prior to severe thunderstorms.
  6. Make sure your fertilizer's nitrogen contains at least 50% slow release formulations.
  7. Don't apply fertilizer containing phosphorus to turf.
    • If your lawn has a phosphorus deficiency that has been demonstrated through testing, you can apply phosphorus at a rate no greater than ¼ pound per 1,000 square feet per application.
    • Do not exceed ½ pound per 1,000 square feet in a year's time.
  8. If you have newly-installed turf, you may apply phosphorus for 60 days following installation. Follow all guidelines.
  9. Prior to obtaining or renewing an Orange County local business tax certificate for a business providing landscape services, each commercial applicator (as defined in Section 15-801), must provide proof of successful completion, within the past 3 years, of the Florida Green Industries Best Management Practices certification program. The program is provided by the University of Florida Institute for Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS). Visit Florida-Friendly Landscaping for details of the training.
  10. From June 1 through September 30 follow these rules:
    • Don't apply fertilizer containing nitrogen or phosphorus to turf. There are two exceptions to this rule:
      • Commercial applicators certified under Section 15-809 may conduct these applications.
      • Homeowners who have completed the online educational program educational program may conduct these applications.
  11. Don't deposit grass clippings and/or vegetative material/debris into any public right of way, stormwater drain or other water conveyance.

Avoid Being Fined

  • First violation: Written notice.
  • Second violation: Written notice.
  • Third violation: Fine of fifty dollars ($50).
  • Fourth violation: Fine of one hundred dollars ($100).

Spring Protection Partners

A special thank you to the Protect Our Springs Funding Partners - the Wildlife Foundation of Florida, Central Florida Sierra Club and the Wekiva Wild and Scenic River System.

Contact Us

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

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.