Applying Fertilizers in Maryland? New Fertilizer Law

Written by  //  July 1, 2013  //  Business

Turf Republic

If you are applying fertilizers in the state of Maryland, better check the new laws.  These new laws in our opinion finally go where others wouldn’t to the homeowner.  Although it really comes down to enforcement, which we will have to wait and see how that is done, homeowners now carry the burden of applying fertilizers responsibly and by the law.  You can get the details of the entire Maryland Fertilizer Law on the Dept of Agriculture’s website below.

Maryland Department of Agriculture

Here are some highlights of the new law:

Fertilizer Manufacturers and Distributors

- Requires lawn fertilizer products sold in Maryland to include label directions to ensure that no more than 0.9 pound of total nitrogen is applied per 1,000 square feet; at least 20 percent of this nitrogen must be in a slow release form. The maximum amount of water soluble nitrogen in lawn fertilizer products applied per 1,000 square feet is capped at 0.7 pound. Effective October 1, 2013

Lawn Care Professionals

University of Maryland Extension (UME) is developing a training manual to prepare individuals to take the certification exam. Training classes will be available in 2013.
Check this site for updates.

Individuals and companies hired to apply fertilizers must be certified by MDA or work under the direct supervision of an individual who is certified. MDA will offer fertilizer applicator certification exams beginning fall 2013 and will publish a list of certified professional fertilizer applicators on its website.

Licenses will be required for all businesses engaged in commercial fertilizer applications. Each business will be required to employ at least one certified fertilizer applicator. Licenses to qualifying firms will be available beginning fall 2013.

Homeowner and Other Residential Users

Beginning October 1, 2013, homeowners and do-it-yourselfers will be required to follow University of Maryland recommendations when fertilizing lawns. Mandatory restrictions, similar to those imposed for lawn care professionals, apply:

  • Homeowners must follow University of Maryland fertilizer recommendations when applying nitrogen to lawns.
  • A single application may not exceed 0.9 pound total nitrogen per 1,000 square feet and 0.7 pound of soluble nitrogen per 1,000 square feet.
  • Homeowners are prohibited from applying fertilizer to sidewalks, driveways or other impervious surfaces. Any product that lands on these surfaces must be swept back onto lawns.
  • No fertilizer applications within 15 feet of waterways. This setback is reduced to 10 feet if a drop spreader, rotary spreader with deflector or targeted spray liquid is used to apply fertilizer.

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