Some Florida Cities Urging the Limited Use of Fertilizers

Landscapers should avoid using fertilizers containing high amounts of phosphorus, especially when heavy rain is expected.

Fox 4
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Our lawns could be helping to fuel this year's red tide and blue-green algae explosion in Naples, Florida. Many fertilizers contain nutrients—such as phosphorus, nitrogen and potassium—that are food for the organisms and storm runoff can put them into our waterways.

Stephanie Molloy, natural resources manager for the city of Naples, said that homeowners and landscapers should avoid using fertilizers containing high amounts of phosphorus—since there's already plenty of phosphorus in southwest Florida's soil.

"If we over-fertilize or fertilize at the wrong time, [it] can get into our waterways," Molloy said. "That will help algae and other organisms grow, such as red tide organisms."

She said it's also important to limit how much fertilizer is used when heavy rain is expected or when the soil is already saturated. She also recommends keeping any fertilized plants at least 10 feet from storm-water drains, canals and other waterways.

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