The blackout law pertaining to the application of certain fertilizers is intended to improve the quality of the local water supplies. Almost everyone has heard of the law, but not everyone understands the law, or regulations associated with it.

The blackout law will go into effect on Monday, June 1st, 2020. The law will stay in effect until October. During the period of time between June 1st and October 1st, you are prohibited from applying any fertilizer that contains nitrogen or phosphorus to your lawn or gardens whenever the weather forecast calls for heavy rains to happen in the next 24 hours. For the sake of argument, the weather forecast being referred to is the one made by the National Weather Service.

During the other months of the year, you must remember that the fertilizer you choose to use cannot contain phosphorous unless you have had a soil test that shows a deficiency. The nitrogen content can be no greater than four pounds for every 1,000 square feet. If you are using a nitrogen fertilizer it must contain 50% slow-release nitrogen.

You also need to be aware of the following recommendations or guidelines when you are using fertilizer.

  • Use a deflector shield when you are broadcasting fertilizer
  • Fertilizer should never be applied within ten feet of a wetland, marsh, pond, or body of water
  • You should not apply nitrogen to any plant that has been newly planted in the last thirty days
  • You can use reclaimed water instead of a fertilizer that contains nitrogen because reclaimed water contains nitrogen
  • Grass clippings and fertilizer particles that get on sidewalks, walkways, driveways, or streets must be swept up and either returned to the property they came from or disposed of properly
  • Lawn and landscape personnel from Manatee County have to have a certificate showing they passed the Best Management Practices test

All of these regulations have been proposed so that chemicals are not washed from our lawns down the storm drains and into the water that we rely on to drink, bathe, and perform household cleaning jobs. The chemicals in fertilizer can be detrimental to the health of humans and animals so it is critical that they are kept out of the water supply.

Those same chemicals also poison water life like fish. If the chemicals from fertilizer get into the ponds and streams the fish will be eradicated and a change in the dynamics of the waterways surrounding us could happen. In other words, if we kill off the fish with poisons then everything that relies on the fish will be affected, and ultimately we will be affected.

Do your part to keep the water around us safe to drink by following the guidelines of the fertilizer blackout. You can also further protect the water by:

  • Keeping all grass clippings off of the street
  • Keep household chemicals from being washed down the drive and into the storm drain
  • Pick up pet waste and dispose of it properly so it does not get washed down the storm drain
  • Take fallen leaves and use them as mulch around other plants or dispose of them in your trash so they do not wash into the storm drain

Every effort you make will increase the purity of the water we all share.

If you would like to know more about safety and fertilization, or the regulations of the Blackout law, call the experts at Estate Landscaping and they will answer all of your questions. Contact Us.


Receive a Free Consultation!

Contact Us