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Cape Coral leaders could expand restrictions on fertilizer use


by Alex Howard                6:46 PM EDT, Tue September 21, 2021

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — City leaders are looking to crack down on the use of fertilizers. A proposed rule would lengthen the period that its use is banned during the summer months. It would also extend the distance from the water that any fertilizer could be applied to 15 feet.

To find the front lines of lawn care in Cape Coral, look no further than Tony Salerno, the owner of Tony’s pest control. His business uses fertilizer on lawns to help with pest control, but he knows he is restricted on when he can use them.

“If we don’t go by the rules, if we break the rules, we lose our license. My family is involved with this business and I want to see them go on in the future,” Salerno said.

But he says homeowners can still buy those fertilizers at the store and use them year-round, despite the ban on their use from June through September. Now the city wants that ban to start on May 1st.

“I find that by restricting. You are going to have a lot more homeowners who want that green lawn, and they are going to go out and buy that fertilizer and apply it.” Salerno added.

Ultimately, nutrients make their way to more than 400 miles of canals that run through the city, a fact that Cape Coral native Jason Pim knows too well.

“We need to do more, and be leaders in this area. In my view, strengthening the fertilizer ordinance is long overdue.” Pim said.