Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Only 5 More Days to Fertilize Your Lawn, Maryland

And it's getting late tonight, if you want to use nitrogen or phosphorus. Blackout dates for lawn fertilizer applications begins Nov. 16

The Maryland Department of Agriculture reminds citizens that fertilizer blackout dates authorized by Maryland’s Lawn Fertilizer Law will begin on November 16 and run through February 28.

Maryland’s Lawn Fertilizer Law prohibits residents and lawn-care professionals from fertilizing lawns with products containing phosphorus and nitrogen between the specified blackout dates. An exception exists for lawn-care professionals, who may apply up to 0.5 pound of soluble or insoluble nitrogen per 1,000 square feet to lawns they manage until December 1.


Potassium and lime may still be applied during the blackout dates, since they are not considered a threat to water quality. Citizens and lawn-care professionals may resume lawn-fertilizer applications containing nitrogen and phosphorus on March 1 as long as the ground is not frozen or heavy rain is not predicted. A soil test is required before phosphorus may be applied to established lawns.

The department reminds citizens that it is prohibited to use fertilizer products to melt ice and snow on steps, sidewalks, driveways, or other paved surfaces. Applying fertilizer to hard or frozen ground provides a direct pathway for nutrient runoff into storm drains that feed into the Chesapeake Bay.

Maryland’s Lawn Fertilizer Law requires lawn-care professionals to be licensed and certified by the Maryland Department of Agriculture to apply fertilizer to the properties they manage. A list of certified lawn-care professionals can be viewed on the department’s website. For more information about Maryland’s Law and fertilizer best management practices, visit:

Ah, the old licensing scam. A few years ago, we gave up fertilizing the lawn, and turned it over to a lawn care company, because we could never seem to get around to it at the right time. As a bonus our lawn looks the best it has ever.

The Wombat has Rule 5 Sunday: Paulina Porizkova up and running on time and under budget.

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