There are five main types of lawn fertilizer. You’ve no doubt seen them in stores or asked your local lawn care company about them. Before you purchase (or hire a company to apply) lawn fertilizer, you first need to know the ins and outs of each variety.
1) Slow release fertilizer
Slow release fertilizers do exactly what their name implies – they slowly release nutrients into the soil supporting your lawn. In some cases, this type of fertilizer consists of organic ingredients, but in most, the granules are coated with a type of polymer that slowly wears away, releasing the fertilizer in the process. Since slow-release fertilizer is effective for quite some time, it doesn’t need to be applied as often. With that said, this type is slightly more expensive than others.
2) Weed and feed
Weed and feed is a lawn fertilizer with a name that says it all. It contains chemicals that kill off any weeds that grow in your lawn (even if they aren’t visible yet), while at the same time, it feeds your grass, making it healthy and strong. The weed-killing component is usually made of an herbicide like MCPP or Dicamba, while the fertilizer consists of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. This type of fertilizer should only be applied to your lawn twice each year.
3) Fast release fertilizer
Fast release fertilizer is also known as a quick release. Most types consist mainly of nitrogen and a few other chemicals. The best thing about fast release fertilizers is that they start working right away to strengthen your grass. They are also very effective and less expensive than the other versions. With that said, it’s very easy to burn your lawn by over-applying them, and they only last for between two to four weeks on the soil.
4) Liquid fertilizer
Liquid fertilizer is commonly used by many professional lawn care companies. Because it’s liquid, the application process needs to be carefully monitored in order to ensure that it goes on evenly. On top of this, many companies make their own mixes, using a careful ratio of nitrogen and other chemicals.
5) Fertilizer made from organic materials
Organic lawn fertilizer consists of natural – not synthetic – materials. These can be everything from manure to other plans and animal byproducts. Before you choose an organic fertilizer, take the time to fully read the packaging to ensure that it meets your lawn’s needs.