A well kept lawn normally does not need excessive amounts of attention other than regular mowing and the application of granular or liquid lawn fertilizer and weed killers at appropriate times. The right type of fertilizer, however, can make the difference as to how often it is applied, when and how much is needed for the lawn to continue thriving.
There are several different types of fertilizer on the market such as:
- Chemical based liquid, granular or powder forms of fertilizer
- Homemade liquid lawn fertilizer
- Organic liquid lawn fertilizer
- Weed and feed pre-mix fertilizer that combines both edible as well as fertilizer
Homeowners that choose to fertilize their lawn on a regular basis want to get the most for their money. One way to do this is to make sure that what is being applied is actually being utilized by the grass. Not only does the form of the fertilizer (liquid, granules or powder) affect the product’s application, the ingredients also play a role.
Pros and Cons of Liquid Lawn Fertilizer
Liquid lawn fertilizer can be purchased as a concentrate or powder. The powder form is mixed with water in the appropriate amounts that can then be applied according to the package directions. The main benefit of liquid forms of fertilizer is in the application. Liquids can be applied evenly to all areas of the lawn without fear of getting too much in one particular area. As a liquid it also spreads outward as it is absorbed through the leaves of the plant as well as throughout the soil. This prevents excessive amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium from accumulating in a small area. With liquid fertilizer, its ability to soak into the ground is beneficial because the roots can absorb it more efficiently without it evaporating away.
One of the main drawbacks of liquid lawn fertilizer is that it evaporates. Because a large portion of the product is water, there is the possibility of the active ingredients of the fertilizer being wasted. As the water evaporates, the chemical components lose their means of traveling to the root system and being absorbed by the plants’ surface. Other draw backs include waste that comes from spills, leaks in the bottle itself or the spreader used to apply the product and mistakes when mixing the concentrate with water.
Pros and Cons of Granular Lawn Fertilizer
Granular fertilizer is an extremely popular form of fertilizer. One of the reasons for its popularity is that it is easy to apply. Granules are easily measured, fit into a variety of spreaders and require little clean up. Nothing has to be mixed or blended. All that needs to be done is to have the right amount of product measured out to cover the size of the lawn in question. Pour it into a broadcast spreader and begin to apply the product. When the hopper is empty, hose it out with water and hang it to dry or place it in the sun.
Homeowners who often use granules have the same complaint time and time again. Unlike liquid lawn fertilizer, granules lay in the same area as where they fall. They do not spread or melt into the ground until water from the irrigation system or a good hearty rainfall takes control and allows them to absorb completely. While the granules will degrade over time and begin to break down so the plants can absorb them through their surfaces, this can take a few weeks to accomplish. An accumulation of granular lawn fertilizer that builds up in one area can lead to brown patches or dead spots in the grass.
If a homeowner wants to avoid using extremely toxic, chemical forms of liquid lawn fertilizer, organic compounds are now available. Organic compounds are biodegradable and provide components that are much easier for the grass and other plants to utilize. Homeowners who are environmentally conscious often choose organic forms of fertilizer because they will not contaminate the ground water.
Choosing fertilizer for a lawn involves making several decisions, some for convenience, others for practicality. Above all, the most common reason for making certain choices comes down to how cost effective a product is and how much money can be saved over the long term.