Guidelines for Safe (and Legal!) Fertilizing

A Look at Fertilizing in the Context of the NJ Fertilizer Law

The NJ Fertilizer Law – Designed to Protect and Restore the Barnegat Bay

The Fertilizer Application Deadline is November 15th The NJ Fertilizer Law was conceived to protect all New Jersey surface and ground waters from impairment by minimizing nitrogen and phosphorus loading that may be derived from lawn fertilizer – one of the largest sources of nutrient pollutants in the Barnegat Bay. According to New Jersey’s fertilizer law, as of November 15 residents cannot apply fertilizers containing nitrogen or phosphorus to their lawns until next spring (March 1). Commercial fertilizer applicators must complete their customer service cycle of late fall nitrogen or phosphorus fertilization by December 1, and cannot apply them again until March 1. Implementation of this law is also part of former Governor Christie’s 10-point action plan to protect and restore Barnegat Bay. Learn more about NJ’s fertilizer laws on the OCSCD website. The Barnegat Bay Partnership. provides comprehensive information about fertilizers and water pollution. Learn how this law is being carried out in the Barnegat Bay watershed. Photo by Georgie Grieb, Inspector 1

Don’t Guess, Get a Soil Test!

How much N, P, K is already in your soil? Rutgers University hosts a Soil Testing Laboratory designed to inform homeowners of specific needs of their lawn. Getting your soil tested will ensure proper application of various nutrients, saving you time and money. Visit the Rutgers Soil Testing Laboratory to learn more. Rutgers University also offers a free tool that can be used by any homeowner to determine the proper amount of fertilizer applied to a lawn. This online calculator will make it simple for you to comply with the new fertilizer laws while using just the right amount of nitrogen (not too much, which wastes time and money). To take the first steps at having a greener, healthier lawn, visit the Rutgers Blog SpotPhoto by Becky Laboy, Education Outreach Specialist

NJ Soil Erosion & Sediment Control Standards – Keeping Our Surface Waters Clean

The Standard for Permanent Vegetative Cover for Soil Stabilization has requirements for fertilizer application. Uniformly apply ground limestone and fertilizer to topsoil which has been spread and firmed in place. Fertilizer shall be applied at the rate of 500 pounds per acre or 11 pounds per 1,000 square feet of 10-10-10 or equivalent with 50% water insoluble nitrogen unless a soil test indicates otherwise and incorporated into the surface 4 inches. If fertilizer is not incorporated, apply one-half the rate described above during seedbed preparation and repeat another one-half rate application of the same fertilizer within 3 to 5 weeks after seeding. Please note the ratio of 10-10-10, which represents equal components of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium (N-P-K), essential nutrients for plant growth. Read the complete Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Standards. Photo by Luis Almeida, Inspector 1