Landscapers on the Vineyard are adjusting to new regulations that limit the use of lawn fertilizer, which have been in effect since January. This year, fertilizer can’t be applied until April 15, according to the regulations, which also establish a licensing process for fertilizer users.


This spring the annual town meeting warrants in each of the six Vineyard towns will include articles asking the voters to adopt board of health regulations governing the use of fertilizer on turf.

The commission voted unanimously last week to designate a new DCPC to control fertilizer use. Voters in Island towns will be asked to adopt regulations this spring. The plan has strong support from boards of health, landscapers and golf course managers.

A regional effort to protect the Vineyard’s coastal estuaries and drinking water is set to come before voters this spring as Island boards of health chart regulations to curb fertilizer use.

The proposed regulations are now under review as an Islandwide district of critical planning concern, a special overlay planning process allowed through the Martha’s Vineyard Commission.


Island boards of health prepare regulations for fertilizer use to limit leaching of nitrogen and phosphorus into ponds and coastal waters. The proposal is modeled closely after one on Nantucket.