Do You Understand The New Fertilizer Regs?


Members of The Marine Resources Task Force Committee recently discussed the town’s new fertilizer ordinance (20-05) which was adopted back in February. The ordinance was put in place because of the damage unregulated fertilizer use can cause, not only to humans, but the environment as well.

A big issue was how to get the information about the ordinance out to the public and the contractors who use fertilizer. The committee questioned whether there was a process in place to distribute the information with members saying the community and commercial landscapers were probably not even aware of the changes.

Councilman Bill Veach, liaison for the town council, said, “I bet a lot of these lawn services in the area may have not been informed.” Committee Chair Steve Johnson then asked if a copy of the ordinance went out to property owners who lease their properties as they are the ones who “call the shots on landscaping.”

The ordinance is summarized on the town website HERE. Some of the rules include mandatory soil testing to determine deficiency before using phosphorus, blackout dates for using fertilizer (June 1-Sept 30) and fertilizer free zones.

When this was brought up to the town council it was suggested landscapers who work on the island have an education session when they get permits


  1. Speaking for Indiana, to legally be a “business” to apply fertilizer and other chemicals, they have to be certified. I am sure all that needs to be done is inform them of the local regulation. They don’t need a lay person educating them. We had our Landscape Architect use native plants when our house was built. I do have to fertilize our bougainvilleas. The fertilizer I bought initially from a garden center near Alico Rd on 41 is apparently already not allowed in FMB and Sanibel. I get mulch and minimal fertilizer from Chapman’s Mulch on Pine Ridge Rd. When I went there to get Bougainvilla fertilizer, I was asked where I lived. When I said FMB, he said the fertilizer I was using is not to be used in FMB and Sanibel. The product he sold me, he said, works just as well with bougainvillea and I can verify that. They are healthy show stoppers. If you don’t feed bougainvillea, they are ugly and scraggly eyesores.

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