how to feed plants?

Belleair, FL(Zone 10a)

My county (Pinellas) apparently has a law that no fertilizer can be sold between may 1 - October 1. This includes the 13-13-13, 15-15-15, etc, miracle grow plant foods that aren't labeled "for tomatoes & vegetables", fish emulsion,etc. They say its our rainy season & we don't need to fertilize & it pollutes the gulf. Unfortunately my (sand) soil drains so quickly that the composted manure & peat moss I'm allowed to use can't keep up. I tried to compost & my landlord threw a FIT. so I'm wondering what others do to keep the plants healthy & growing?

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 9a)

I've not heard of such a thing! Though I'm not familiar with Pinellas County. I use Espoma fertilizers for all of my plants…Perennials, Vegetables, Annuals…etc. A natural and organic fertilizer for all plants. I can't imagine that this would be "regulated" by any municipality or county.

Belleair, FL(Zone 10a)

I'll check on the espoma. As long as its not labeled fertilizer I might be able to get it. Apparently this law is 4 years old. Its in effect in Pinellas & south Tampa. I'm not sure where else. Hopefully I can find the stuff u mentioned.

Gainesville, FL(Zone 9a)

Id hit the Howard Franklin and get what you want in Tampa. Umm...can you by milorganite??

Belleair, FL(Zone 10a)

I didn't see anything called milorganite but that doesn't mean its not there. The guys I talked to @ home depot said unless it specifically says "plant food for tomatoes & vegetables" no1 can sell it til October 1. I think ur exactly rite about just heading to Tampa. That seems like the best solution. North Tampa also has the ban on fertilizer but south Tampa still has it.

Fleming Island, FL(Zone 9a)

I use my tomato fertilizer for all my plants. They all seem happy with it. In fact, it is what the Angel Trumpets need.

Jacksonville, FL(Zone 9a)

When the "ban" on buying fertilizer is over…I think I'd make sure I have enough on hand for use during the restricted period.
I understand the concern that the County may have, but it almost sounds like they are going way above and beyond whats necessary.

Belleair, FL(Zone 10a)

Yeah. I agree. This is my 1st garden ever so I had no idea till I started going from store to store & not finding anything. Then when I asked I was shocked they are so strict. But I'll definetly Stock up next year.

Tampa, FL(Zone 9b)

You can still buy fertilizers in Tampa, but if you don't want to make the drive over the bridge; you might want to look into the various organic fertilizer options out there.
I found these web sites that breaks down the different organic materials you can use as fertilizers that will not violate the law.

Belleair, FL(Zone 10a)

Thank you guys. I'm epileptic & therefore can't drive & couldnt carry the fertilizer to & from the bus. These ideas might save me from having to pay someone to drive me. I really appreciate all ur help. Thanks again!

Taylor Creek, FL(Zone 10a)

You do realize that the reason they don't sell fertilizers at that time is the same reason you think you need some more. Because our sand perks so fast it leeches to the lagoons, rivers, etc. Then we have alga that buds and becomes Red Tide.
Red tide kills fish and all sorts of other natural water critters.
People are told to stay out of the water when they have red tide.

If you are close to a retaining pond you can pump water out of it and it will be amply loaded with fertilizers. Ms Happy_1 does that.
You need to try the really slow time release Fert.
When I fertilize I use a hand pump and foliar feed. If it doesn't get washed off, it does great and leaves a small run off foot print.
Where I am now, I can't plant anything in the ground. So I don't have to worry about run off.
I do use Miracle Grow Moisture control potting soil, so I don't fertilize at all until Sept.
One of the snowbirds fills her recently empty milk jugs with water, lets them sit outside for a day. Then waters plants with that water.
If they look puny, they may be over loved or watered. If the leaves get dry and brown on the edges, they may be drowning. To heal that put 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide in a gallon of water (H2O2) and use that to water. It will put oxygen to the roots.
Good luck with your plants.

Belleair, FL(Zone 10a)

Yeah. I'm sure the waste treatment plants my county has placed along our intercoastal waters isn't helping either. But what to do? Again, thanks again for all of the helpful ideas. I'm already starting to incorporate some into my soil. Hopefully everything will pull through.

(Zone 9a)

I used to work for a large wholesale grower who would use whatever fertilizers he could get for a good price. He always said the diffferences in the nutrients and trace elements of the various formulations was so small it had little effect on the plants. He had a PhD in horticulture so he was no dummy. In his opinion using a product labeled for tomatoes on ferns or other plants was just fine and his plants were always gorgeous. If he noticed any deficiencies he would, of course, make corrections and add whatever a plant needed but this was rare to never.

Dynamite makes a good organic, slow release, tomato fertilizer. It comes in a small, easy to handle, bottle and something like that should be fine for your plants and the surrounding waterways.

Post a Reply to this Thread

You must log in and subscribe to Dave's Garden to post in this thread.