Lawn Fertilizer is needed by turf grass lawns to help the grass grow thick, strong and healthy.  A complete fertilizer should contain three main nutrients: phosphorus, nitrogen and potassium. There are two major types of nitrogen sources in lawn fertilizers – quick-release and slow release.  If you want your turf lawn to grow well, it is important to know and understand the pros and cons of both types of fertilizers.

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  • Quick-Release

Fertilizers with quick release nitrogen readily provide the nutrients immediately to plants. They use water-soluble nitrogen which is released to the soil by rainfall or irrigation.  Because the nutrients are immediately made available to the plants, they grow and become green quickly.

However, this type of fertilizer tends to create flush growth.  The lawn will grow several inches per week.  This type of lawn fertilizer has a tendency to be absorbed from the soil within two weeks to a month. And, if you make the mistake of over-applying the fertilizers, you can actually burn the grass causing it to die.

  • Slow-Release

There are a number of advantages in using slow-release nitrogen fertilizers. They can help achieve a more uniform grass growth. And, because they release nitrogen slowly, you run a smaller risk of burning the grass.  This type of lawn fertilizer will stay active in the soil six to eight months, or even longer, which means you do not need to apply fertilizer as often. Most grass lawn professionals would suggest that a lawn fertilizer should have at least 50% of its nitrogen in one of the slow-release forms. However, with slow release fertilizers, the nutrients that the grass needs are not readily made available to them. They are also commonly more expensive than quick-release fertilizers, and have the disadvantage of not really working that well when the soil is cold. They also need to be heavily irrigated when the temperature is high and excessive irrigation can hasten the release of nutrients.

Slow release fertilizers, categorized as two types:

  • Natural
  • Synthetic

Natural lawn fertilizers are composed of organic materials that are broken down by microbial activity to make the nutrients available to the grass. This means that the nitrogen they contain is not water-soluble. There are cases when organic fertilizers take a long time to disperse the nutrients, which may be bad especially if the plants need them immediately. Organic fertilizers are more effective if the soil is moist and warm enough to encourage soil organism activity. Conversely, synthetic fertilizer depends less on the right soil moisture and the right temperature to release nutrients. The fertilizer is scientifically balanced which means the nutrients are released over a period of time some even lasting up to an entire year. This means that fewer applications of fertilizer are necessary.



Lawn Fertilizer | Green Bay, WI  |  920.434.7918

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