Vol 120 (2007): Proceedings of the Florida State Horticultural Society
Ornamental, Garden & Landscape

Challenges of fertilizer ordinances

Donald P. Rainey
University of Florida
Published December 1, 2007
  • special interest,
  • stakeholders


The state of Florida is experiencing a population trend that will continue to grow for years to come. This population growth necessitates the need for more paved roads, rooftops, and many expect manicured landscapes. Water quality will be a concern as the unbridled population increases. Public outcry from annual outbreaks of red tide has motivated many cities and counties to address nutrient loading in coastal waterfront communities. Local leaders responded to public concern and recognized water quality as an important and critical component of public safety, as well as of the environment. This concern has led to a number of signed resolutions establishing the local government's role and options in managing fertilizer use. It is at this juncture that careful review and research must be made in order to establish fair and reasonable actions outlining the intent of a possible ordinance. There are many pros and cons to ordinances in general, but the process to achieve the language, intent, scope, enforcement, and collective support of a fertilizer ordinance becomes the most challenging aspect.