When gardeners and home owners want a nice lawn or big blooms of flowers, fertilizer is the key. In one Florida county however, there's been some fallout from using nitrogen based fertilizers for lawns and plants. Hillsborough county restricts the use of nitrogen fertilizers from June through September. This is the rainy season and water testing in this area has shown high levels of the toxic nitrogen getting into water supplies via storm run-off.
In some cases residents who had backyard ponds or other wildlife were noticing a difference. One local gardener said that the fish in his pond all died as a result of nitrogen in the storm water that washed through his property from neighboring farms. Experts advise applying fertilizer to lawns and plants just once per year, in March or April before the rains become heavy. In addition, packing fertilizer well into the ground and using mulch to keep it in place is a good way to limit how much nitrogen washes into the storm water run off.