Fertilizer Code

​​​​​Join the 68% Go Fertilizer Free


68 percent fertilizer freeFertilizers containing nitrogen and/or phosphorus can degrade the quality of our drinking water, especially during heavy rains that push nutrients past a plant’s roots and into groundwater. Fertilizer can also contribute to algae blooms when it washes off our landscapes into ponds, lakes, creeks, and other surface waters.

Since 2018, the share of Alachua County residents who say they don’t use fertilizer increased from 55% to 68%. You can skip the fertilizer, and your yard can still look great. Join 68% today! Sign the pledge to eliminate the use of fertilizer in your yard and receive a Fertilizer Free bumper sticker while they last! Our springs, waterways, and future generations will thank you!



Fertilizer Ordinance 

Alachua County Board of County Commissioners amended the Fertilizer Code on April 9th, 2019.  The ordinance is Article IV of the Water Quality Code​ and includes the following standards:

  • Fertilizers containing nitrogen must have a minimum of 50% of the nitrogen in a slow release format and may not be applied:
    • during the seasonal ban of July through February 
    • when soils are saturated or before a heavy rain
    • for the first 30 days after seeding or sodding (except when hydro-seeding for erosion control)
  • Fertilizers containing phosphorus are prohibited unless a deficiency is verified by a soil or tissue test.
  • The above standards do not apply to fruit trees and/or vegetable gardens.
  • Fertilizers spilled on impervious surfaces must be removed immediately, and may not be blown or washed into storm​water systems or water bodies.
  • Fertilizers shall not be applied within a minimum of 10 feet from any waterbody unless a deflector shield is used (then a minimum of 3 feet is required).
  • Grass clippings must be removed from impervious surfaces immediately.
  • Fertilizer must be stored in areas protected from rainfall and stormwater runoff.
  • All commercial and institutional applicators shall successfully complete the Florida Friendly Best Management Practices for Water Resources by the Green Industries training and carry evidence that they are a FDACS Commercial Fertilizer Applicator.

All establishments selling fertilizers must post signage provided by Alachua County. Call EPD at 352-264-6800 to request signage or to report the absence of a sign.






All businesses applying fertilizer to turf and/or landscape plants in Alachua County must ensure all employees have an appropriate "Florida Friendly Best Management Practices for Protection of Water Resources by the Green Industries" training certificate. All commercial and institutional applicators shall carry evidence that they are a FDACS Commercial Fertilizer Applicator.

  •  To check for trainings around the state, view the schedule here.

Find out which landscaping professionals​ have already completed the required training.​

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