Can You Fertilize Your Tampa Bay Landscape Throughout the Year?

Elizabeth Pelletier Elizabeth Pelletier

Florida is a unique state, and we won’t lie–we love it for that. There aren’t many places where you can find theme parks alongside alligators, swamps adjacent to cities, and world-renowned horse breeders only miles from the beach.

When it comes to landscaping, Florida continues that distinctive streak thanks to its impressive biodiversity and environment in which plants can thrive year-round. It’s one of the few places where, with a little care, there is the potential for pristine lawns and beautiful blossoms no matter what the season.

If you, like so many others in the Sunshine State, want to maintain a gorgeous property throughout all phases of the year, there are a couple of things to know. Among those keys to year-round success is proper fertilization of your plants, which begs the question—Can you fertilize your Tampa Bay landscape throughout the year?

When and How to Fertilize Your Tampa Bay Landscape

The short answer to this more nuanced question is, “Yes, you can fertilize your Tampa Bay lawn all year.” However, not every season plays by the same rules, and you must adjust your approach depending on the time of year.

Many localities in Florida implement seasonal restrictions on certain fertilizers, for example, and you must be aware of these in order to treat your property correctly. Combine this wrinkle with the necessity to consider the individual needs of your landscape, and you have a rather complex fertilization riddle to solve.

Have no fear, though. If you want your Tampa Bay property to stay immaculate January through December, you’ve come to the right place. Check out our introductory guide to fertilizing your lawn year-round, and prepare to experience the benefits of consistent and intentional fertilization.

Fertilizing Your Lawn from January to April

Florida may not experience winter like other areas of the country, but that doesn’t mean that your lawn doesn’t experience stress when the temperatures drop. Because the grasses used in Tampa Bay are typically warm-weather varieties like St. Augustine or Bahia grass, they perform best in Florida’s hotter months.

In the cooler months—particularly from January through April—you need to ensure your lawn (and other landscaping elements) get the consistent nutrition they need to remain healthy and good-looking. This means you should treat your lawn with a steady source of fertilizer, particularly fertilizer that includes staple ingredients like nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus.

Not only does this approach keep your lawn healthy through the colder season, but it also primes it for growth when the temperatures begin to rise. So, when May rolls around, your Tampa Bay landscape will be ready to flourish.

How to Fertilize Your Lawn in the Summer

Your lawn is most likely to perform its best in the warmer months thanks to readily available nutrients and favorable temperatures. The natural relationship between Florida’s summer climate and the grasses properties tend to opt for in the Tampa Bay area creates a conducive environment for your landscape to thrive between the months of May and September. In other words, fertilization typically takes a backseat during this period.

There is more at play here than great weather and afternoon thunderstorms. Many municipalities in Florida have implemented restrictions on fertilizers during the summer months to help reduce runoff. Nitrogen and phosphorous, in particular, are viewed as being harmful to certain aquatic life in the area and may contribute to outbreaks of algal bloom.

Because of these restrictions—and sometimes, outright bans—can present challenges for Tampa Bay properties attempting to look and perform their best throughout the year. With every challenge, however, comes a creative solution. While traditional fertilizers may be off-limits in the summer, your professional landscaper can use different techniques to ensure your lawn receives the care and nutrients it needs.

Alternative options include applying micronutrients directly and using iron treatments. Together, these two fertilization alternatives can keep your lawn looking fantastic and prospering from a health perspective.

Fertilizing Your Tampa Bay Lawn in October through December

Most fertilization regulations last until September when Florida’s hot and rainy season begins to conclude. When your area’s restrictions are lifted, you can begin to ramp up your fertilization routine once more, just in time for the weather to cool and your plants to crave those additional nutrients.

In other words, you can resume normal fertilization from October until the end of the year. Not only does this set your property up for success during the cooler seasons, but it also gives you an opportunity to address areas of concern that may have developed during the summer.

That’s why we recommend doing a quality audit of your property at this time. By pinpointing aspects of your landscape that may require a little extra attention, you can nip potential problems in the bud and help those weak points catch up to the rest of your property. This is especially important to accomplish before temperatures get too cold. A healthy lawn is more likely to endure the winter and the stresses it brings.

When in Doubt, Ask a Professional

While there are some general guidelines that can help you know when and how to fertilize your Tampa Bay property, the truth is that fertilization is not a one-size-fits-all process.

Different properties have different needs based on the plant life that populates them, the soil they have, and the conditions affecting their health. Factor in the chemical nature of fertilizers and the knowledge necessary to implement them to their maximum potential, and you have a relatively nuanced sector of landscaping.

Due to these complexities, it is best to work with a local professional landscaper in Tampa Bay to fertilize your property properly. By having an expert evaluate and treat your landscape, you can be confident that your lawn will thrive and all regulations will be followed precisely.

Landcrafters – Your Tampa Bay Fertilization Specialist

For over 20 years, Landcrafters has been helping properties in the Tampa Bay area achieve their full potential. From residential projects to commercial clients, our team of experts has the experience and knowledge to create the Florida oasis you crave. Come to us with your vision, and we will work with you to develop a comprehensive strategy, implementation, and maintenance plan.

If you’d like to learn more about fertilization and how you can keep your property healthy and aesthetic year-round, feel free to reach out to us. We’d be happy to discuss the unique needs of your landscape with you and determine the best path forward for your plants, your property, and your budget.

In the meantime, be sure to check out our Florida landscaping blog. It is packed with valuable landscaping tips, tricks, and insights based on our several decades of experience. Best of all, it is available at no cost, giving you a powerful free resource to use at your convenience.

Elizabeth Pelletier

Elizabeth Pelletier

Account Manager, Gardening for Landcrafters, Inc. Elizabeth Pelletier's roots are based in agriculture, having grown up on her family’s farm in rural southeast Alabama. Her nearly 22 years in the green industry began by managing Carol’s Nursery, a small nursery, greenhouse, and landscaping operation. With an undergrad and graduate studies in Horticulture from Auburn University, Elizabeth has published research in The Journal of Environmental Horticulture. Moving to Tampa Bay in 2020, Elizabeth quickly worked her way up to Account Manager at Landcrafters through dedication to production quality, communication, accountability, expertise, and passion for plants. Elizabeth holds GI-BMP and FNGLA’s Certified Horticulture Professional certificates and is nearing completion of becoming a GI-BMP Instructor and receiving her ISA Arborist Certification.