Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pinellas County's retail ban on summer fertilizer sales starts Wednesday

Pinellas County's new ban on retail sales of fertilizer with nitrogen or phosphorus begins Wednesday.

From June through September, residents can't buy or apply those fertilizers in Pinellas — a measure imposed to protect waterways from algae blooms and fish kills. But that doesn't mean yards have to go dead. Here's what you need to know:

What fertilizer can I apply?

Products with only micronutrients, such as magnesium or iron, can be applied. The county ordinance requires that spreaders have a deflector shield to keep fertilizer off impervious surfaces like streets and sidewalks. For similar reasons, people must keep grass clippings, leaves and other yard waste off streets, sidewalks, storm drains and bodies of water. People also can improve soil by adding composted manure, or your own home compost.

How does the sales ban work?

Retailers are banned from using displays with fertilizers containing nitrogen or phosphorus during the restricted season. The stores also must post a notice saying the sales are restricted by county code. The ban on using fertilizers with nitrogen or phosphorus during the summer rainy season started in 2010. Slow-release products are required other times of the year.

What's the penalty?

Violators can be fined $100, although county officials have emphasized their focus will be on education and will issue warnings in the beginning.

How does fertilizer cause problems?

If people apply too much fertilizer or use it at the wrong time — like before a big rainstorm — fertilizer can run off into storm drains or bays and lakes, or leach into groundwater. While fertilizer helps plants grow, it also can cause outbreaks in waters that require millions of taxpayer dollars to repair.

Where can I find more information?

Pinellas County offers a Web page ( to help people use fertilizer correctly.

David DeCamp can be reached at or (727) 893-8779. Follow him on Twitter with @DeCampTimes.

Pinellas County's retail ban on summer fertilizer sales starts Wednesday 05/30/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 31, 2011 7:37am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Nearly 1 in 4 Tampa Bay homeowners considered equity rich

    Real Estate

    If your home is worth at least 50 percent more than you owe, you're rich — equity rich that is.

    About one in four Tampa Bay homeowners are considered "equity rich." [Associated Press file photo]
  2. Trump strategist Steve Bannon: No military solution in North Korea


    BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — President Donald Trump's chief strategist Steve Bannon says there's no military solution to the threat posed by North Korea and its nuclear ambitions, despite the president's recent pledge to answer further aggression with "fire and fury."

    Steve Bannon, chief White House strategist to President Donald Trump, has drawn fire from some of Trump's closest advisers. [Associated Press]
  3. Rays have their chances, but end up with another loss (w/video)

    The Heater

    TORONTO — The litany of games the Rays have given away this season is long enough, arguably too lengthy. So the only way to get to the postseason is make up for some of those losses by grabbing some wins when the opportunity is presented, especially at this time of year when the margin is diminished and the stakes …

    Associated Press
  4. Dunedin man accused of possessing child pornography


    DUNEDIN — A 57-year-old man was arrested Wednesday, accused of intentionally downloading child pornography, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said.

    Richard Beal Anger, 57, of Dunedin faces 11 counts of possession of child pornography. [Courtesy of the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]
  5. Pence cuts short Latin America trip and pressures Chile to sever all ties to North Korea


    SANTIAGO, Chile — Vice President Mike Pence is cutting short his Latin America trip by one day to return to Washington for a strategy meeting Friday at Camp David with President Donald Trump and the national security team.

    Vice President Mike Pence urged Chilean President Michelle Bachelet to take a tougher stand against North Korea on Wednesday in Santiago, Chile.