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:
How to Fertilizer Your Lawn Responsibly (PDF, 1.19MB) – The fertilizer law in a nutshell.
Backyard Actions for a Cleaner Chesapeake Bay (PDF, 412 KB) – Five conservation practices that farmers and homeowners can use to help keep the Bay clean.
The Maryland Professional Lawn Care Manual is now available on the Maryland Department of Agriculture website.
Signed into law by Governor Martin O’Malley in 2011, Maryland’s lawn fertilizer law includes new requirements for fertilizer manufacturers, homeowners and lawn care professionals who must now be licensed and certified to apply fertilizers to properties that they manage. The law takes effect October 1, 2013 and is designed to protect the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries from excess nutrients entering its waters from a variety of urban sources, including golf courses, parks, recreation areas, athletic fields, businesses and hundreds of thousands of suburban and urban lawns.
Regulations to implement the law were published in the Maryland Register earlier this year. Certification testing is slated to begin this fall and expected to be ongoing in order to address demand and busy schedules as the program begins. For more information on training classes and testing dates, visit the MDA website or contact MDA’s Urban Nutrient Management Program at 410-841-5959.