Household Tips…Lawns, Lakes & Fertilizer…
A GUIDE TO LAKE-FRIENDLY LAWN FERTILIZATION
Orlando’s lakes start right in your lawn. As rainwater travels through your yard, it picks up anything it can carry on its way to the nearest storm drain, destined for a nearby lake. Help keep our lakes clean by responsibly maintaining your yard.
- Follow these lake-friendly best practices:
- Keep your yard waste out of streets and sidewalks
- Pick up your pet’s waste
- Dispose of household hazardous waste at your nearest hazardous waste drop-off facility
- Keep your car free of leaks
- Maintain your septic tank properly
- Keep grease and other food items out of your sanitary sewers
Learn other ways you can help to keep our lakes clean at cityoforlando.net/stormwater.
There are many local resources available to assist you to keep our waters clean and maintain your yard properly:
- Stormwater Violation Reporting – email@example.com 407.246.2370
- Stormwater Education and Outreach – firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com 407.246.2257
- Keep Orlando Beautiful – cityoforlando.net/kob 407.246.2752
- UF/IFAS Orange County Extension Office – sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/orange firstname.lastname@example.org 407.254.9200
FOLLOW THESE TIPS TO MAXIMIZE YOUR YARD’S FERTILIZER USE AND MINIMIZE FERTILIZER RUNOFF
HOW TO PICK FERTILIZER
- Learn how to read your label and understand what you’re buying before you go to the store.
- All fertilizer labels display an N-P-K number showing the amount of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in the fertilizer.
- Use zero-phosphorus fertilizer. Florida soils are generally rich in phosphorus and don’t need additional amounts. Extra phosphorus ends up in our lakes instead of your yard. Look for the N-P-K number to have a 0 in the middle.
- Use a 50% slow-release nitrogen formula. These fertilizers are designed to allow nitrogen to release over time, maximizing your yard’s consumption of the nutrient. This will keep your yard looking good longer and save you money in the long run.
- Follow the label instructions.
- The instructions on the bag will help you calculate how much fertilizer to use, as well as when and where to use it.
- These labels are in accordance with federal and state laws.
- Only fertilize when your yard needs it. If your yard already has the right amount of nutrients it needs, your lawn won’t soak up the extra that you have added. All of the excess nutrients will be washed away with the rain.
- Never fertilize before a rain storm. If heavy rain is in the 48-hour forecast, wait to fertilize. Your yard only needs about 1⁄4 inch of water to set in the fertilizer. Any more water than that will wash away the work you just did.
- Use a 15-foot “fertilizer-free zone” around water. Keep at least 15 feet away from lakes, streams, and ponds when spreading your fertilizer. This will reduce the amount of fertilizer runoff.
- Clean up spills.
- If fertilizer ends up on a paved surface such as a driveway, sidewalk or street, sweep it back onto your lawn and collect it for later use.
- Pesticides and herbicides can be harmful, too!
- Be mindful of how much and how often you’re using pesticides and herbicides. Always follow the directions on the label.
- Don’t let your time and money get washed down the drain by improperly fertilizing.