The Tampa Bay Estuary Program - A Partnership for a Healthy Bay

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  » Lawn Fertilizer and Tampa Bay

Urban Fertilizer Use and Tampa Bay

The type and amount of lawn and landscape fertilizer you use, as well as when you apply it, can have an impact on the health of Tampa Bay.

Most fertilizers, even organic fertilizers, contain nitrogen and phosphorous, nutrients that are essential to plant growth. But too much nitrogen and phosphorous flowing into waterways can cause harmful algae blooms that lower oxygen levels, turn the water a green or rust color, and lead to fish kills. In fact, excess nitrogen is the number one pollutant in Tampa Bay. Local governments spend millions of dollars each year to remove nitrogen from water bodies through various stormwater treatment methods.

In recent years, cities and counties around Tampa Bay have adopted local ordinances restricting how and when lawn and landscape fertilizer can be applied.


» Bay-Friendly Landscape Blog
Follow the transformation of TBEP Outreach Coordinator Nanette O'Hara's urban Tampa yard to a grass-free, low maintenance oasis.

» A Guide to Pinellas County's Fertilizer Ordinance: Download Brochure

» Rethink Before You Replant

» Time it Right: Use Slow-Release Fertilizer in Spring and Fall

» Hold the Nitrogen and Phosphorous in the Summer

» What You Need To Know about Reclaimed Water and Fertilizer Use

» How to Measure Your Yard for Accurate Fertilizer Application

» Pesticide Alternatives

» You Can Do It! Getting Started with Florida-Friendly Landscaping™

» Florida-Friendly™ Idea Center: Photo Gallery

The Tampa Bay Estuary Program has created an education program, called "Be Floridian" to inform homeowners of these restrictions and promote "Florida-Friendly" yards that requires less fertilizer, water and pesticides. Visit to find out what's legal in your community, and how to get started with your Florida-Friendly Yard makeover!

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