There are some pretty interesting laws from New York State when it comes to putting down fertilizer on your lawn.

  • You are NOT allowed fertilize at any time in New York State before April 1 and you cannot fertilize after December 1 because of potential run off into water sources.
  • You CANNOT have phosphorus in your fertilizer up to a certain amount, which means you might not be able to legally use some.
  • You cannot fertilize within 20 feet of water.

According to the New York State DEC website:

Zero hassle - It's against the law to use phosphorus on lawns that don't need it. (New York State Environmental Conservation Law, article 17, title 21 and Agriculture and Markets Law § 146-g) Check local laws, too-some municipalities have stricter laws about selling and using lawn fertilizers.

  • Use lawn fertilizer that contains phosphorus unless you are establishing a new lawn, or a soil test shows that your lawn does not have enough phosphorus.
  • Apply any lawn fertilizer December 1 - April 1.
  • Apply fertilizer on sidewalks, driveways or other impervious surfaces. If fertilizer spills onto these surfaces, you MUST sweep it up to prevent it from washing into drains or waterways. Do not hose if off.
  • Apply lawn fertilizer within 20 feet of any water body unless…
    • There is at least a 10-foot buffer of shrubs, trees or other plants between the area you are fertilizing and the water,
    • Fertilizer can be applied no closer than 3 feet from the water using a device with a spreader guard, deflector shield or drop spreader.

It is obviously after April 1 this year, but it is certainly something to note.

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