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Now is the time to fertilize appropriately

Now is the time to fertilize appropriately

published: June 13th, 2023 by in Green Life, News & Events

Amelia Island Plantation is in USDA Hardiness Zone 9A

All plants need nutrients to grow. Plants usually get nutrients from the soil, but sometimes supplemental nutrients help them thrive. Proper fertilization enhances growth, increases flowering or fruiting, corrects nutritional deficiencies, and enhances the plant’s appearance. Improper fertilization can cause damage to plants and the environment.

Fertilize according to UF/IFAS recommended rates and application timings to prevent nutrient runoff and leaching which can pollute Florida’s waters. Always follow the fertilizer label directions. Be sure to follow any local fertilizer ordinances and ensure your landscape professional is a licensed fertilizer applicator. Your contract should include a schedule of when and what is applied in your yard.


  • Plant material will have the correct color and appearance
  • Plants will flower and fruit appropriately
  • Ground and surface waters are protected from pollution
  • Turfgrass will have adequate nutrients to grow appropriately

Now is also the time to mulch (if not already done earlier in the spring).

Mulch helps retain soil moisture, protects plants, and inhibits weed growth. It gives your landscape a neat, uniform appearance and is a great Florida-Friendly choice for hard-to-mow areas and shady spots.

Keep a 2- to 3-inch-deep layer of mulch on plant beds. Always leave at least 2 inches of space around tree trunks to prevent rot. Create self-mulching areas under your trees by allowing fallen leaves to stay in place.

AIP’s Architectural Review Board (ARB) guidelines permit the following as an acceptable standard for mulch: 1) pine needles; 2) small pine nuggets; 3) pine fines; 4) large pine nuggets; 5) natural cypress; and 6) mulched natural leaves. No other types of material may be used for mulch, and artificial or colored mulch is not be an acceptable standard for mulch. The Florida-Friendly Landscaping Program does not recommend the use of cypress mulch, as it may not be harvested sustainably.


  • Mulch helps retain soil moisture
  • Mulch gives your landscape a finished appearance
  • As organic mulch decomposes, it improves soil structure
  • Mulch moderates soil temperatures, keeping the soil cool when the temperature is hot, and warm when the temperature is cold.

Submitted by Vicki Cox. Florida Nassau County Master Gardener. Adapted from Florida-Friendly Landscaping, UFL/IFAS Extension.