How to Care for Your Waterfront Lawn in Florida

Living on the waterfront in Florida can pose many challenges including how we manage our lawns.

Fertilization practices are extremely important anytime we’re managing lawns close to water bodies. The Florida Green Industries Best Management Practices have been developed for preservation of Florida’s water bodies and part of this program deals extensively with how to properly apply fertilizer to your lawn.

To stay healthy and provide good ground cover, lawns need nutrients.

Some of these nutrients come from the air and some come from the soil. Some will need to be applied as fertilizer. Lawns should be fertilized during the times when they are actively growing which is primarily the spring and summer months throughout Florida.

The target for the fertilizer is the root of the plant meaning that you need to apply the fertilizer uniformly to the surface of the lawn and then water it in with a small amount of water about one quarter of an inch to move it to the roots for best uptake.

Here are some key points to remember when fertilizing your lawn so that the fertilizer stays on the grass and out of the water body.

  • First make sure that you apply fertilizer at the recommended University of Florida rates, over-fertilization can increase the tendency for the nutrients to move on down through the soil.
  • Also don’t fertilize before a heavy rainfall and when you irrigate after fertilization, apply only a quarter inch of water.
  • Be sure also that if you get fertilizer on an impervious surface, like this sidewalk behind us, that you sweep it up or it will wind up in the water body and be sure to stay ten feet away from water bodies anytime you’re fertilizing.
  • Always follow the UF /IFAS fertilizer recommendations for your particular grass species and your location in the state.

For more information on fertilizer rates, refer to: Remember that it’s important that we all do our part to protect Florida’s waterfront and water resources and how we fertilize our lawns can play a big part in this.

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