The Maryland Department of Agriculture has announced that new regulations regarding the use of fertilizer products will take effect October 1 as a result of changes made to Maryland’s Lawn Fertilizer Law during the 2018 legislative session. The changes make regulations for organic fertilizer products consistent with those for synthetic products. Additionally, they give professional fertilizer applicators more choices in the products they can use. Specifically, the new law addresses the following:

Allows lawn care professionals to apply up to a half-pound of soluble or insoluble nitrogen per 1,000 square feet from November 15—December 1. Currently, only soluble nitrogen is allowed.

Removes the requirement that organic fertilizer products be “low phosphate.” The change allows these products to be applied according to the University of Maryland’s recommendations and soil test results.

The Fertilizer Use Act of 2011—also known as Maryland’s Lawn Fertilizer Law—authorizes the Maryland Department of Agriculture’s Nutrient Management Program to regulate the use of fertilizer on turf not used for agricultural purposes. It requires both homeowners and lawn care professionals to follow the University of Maryland’s fertilizer recommendations and use best management practices when fertilizing lawns. In addition, the law requires lawn care professionals to be licensed and certified by the Maryland Department of Agriculture to apply fertilizer to the properties they manage. The department maintains a list of certified lawn care professionals along with additional information on Maryland’s Lawn Fertilizer Law on their website at