Fertilizer-friendly use ordinance

As a result of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s determination that certain bodies of water within Palm Beach County have been impaired, in part, by excessive nutrient levels, the Village Council in 2017 agreed to adopt state-recommended policies that help protect bodies of water in the Village. 

Those policies are now in the Village Code of Ordinances.

Two key points

  • It is a violation of Village Code to use fertilizers containing nitrogen and/or phosphorus between June 1 and October 31 (Section 27-76)
  • The Village Code includes restrictions on applying fertilizer within 10 feet of a body of water (Section 27-77)

Other restrictions also apply, so homeowners/gardeners should familiarize themselves with these restrictions and the full ordinance to ensure the well-being of waterways throughout the area, and to avoid any unintended violations of the Village Code of Ordinances.

Complete ordinance

The complete Village fertilizer ordinance can be found here, and the important points about the June 1 to October 31 restriction, as well as the 10-foot distance requirement are listed below for convenience.

For more information about proper use of fertilizer, contact the Village Code Enforcement division at (561) 841-3363.

Section 27-76 | Timing of fertilizer application

No applicator shall apply fertilizers containing nitrogen and/or phosphorus to turf and/or landscape plants during the rainy period from June 1 st through October 31 st or at any time to saturated soils or during the time which a tropical storm or hurricane watch or warning has been issued by the national weather service or when heavy rain (greater than two (2) inches in a twenty-four (24) hour period) is forecast. This prohibition shall not apply to fertilizer used for sports turf at golf courses, parks and athletic fields provided that all requirements of subsection 27-78(d) are met.

Section 27-77 | Fertilizer free zones 

Fertilizer shall not be applied within ten (10) feet of any pond, stream, watercourse, lake, canal or wetland as defined by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection in Chapter 62-340, Florida Administrative Code, or from the top of a seawall or bulkhead, unless a deflector shield, drop spreader, or liquid applicator with a visible and sharply defined edge, is used, in which case a minimum of three (3) feet shall be maintained. Newly planted turf or landscape plants may be fertilized in this zone only for a sixty (60) day period beginning thirty (30) days after planting if needed to allow the plants to become well established. Caution shall be used to prevent the direct deposit of nutrients into the water.

Photo of man's legs and a green fertilizer spreader as the man fertilizes a well-kempt lawn