Otter holding a "Please Don't Feed the Algae" sign

Yard Care Tips for Your Landscape that Keep Waterways Healthy

Community & Services

Your yard and local lakes, rivers and springs are more connected than you think, even if miles apart. Summer is Florida’s rainy season. When you fertilize, rain washes it into surface waters, depositing excess nitrogen that feeds algae blooms and degrades water quality. This spoils fishing, swimming, skiing and boating fun for everyone and makes food scarce for the fish, turtles and other wildlife that live there.


Keep pollution out of our waterbodies by following these fertilizer management rules:

  • Check the weather, do not fertilize 24 hours before a storm or heavy rain
  • Avoid nitrogen fertilizer during the summer restricted period, July 1 – September 30
  • Take the “Fertilizer Application Education Course for Citizens”, it’s free and online
  • In spring and fall, test your soil. You might not need to fertilize. When you do, use only 65% slow-release nitrogen and 0% phosphorus fertilizer
  • Plant a Florida-Friendly yard, which requires less fertilizer, pesticides and water

Are you a Wekiwa or Rock Springs enthusiast? Learn more about Orange County’s special educational campaign My Yard My Springs that shows residents how they can help protect groundwater quality.

To learn more, visit

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