When selecting a fertilizer, it is essential to know what type of issue you’re trying to solve. Knowing the correct type of fertilizer will help you choose the right one for your specific needs.
There are many benefits to using both granular and liquid fertilizers. With granular, you’ll get the benefit of nutrient availability over the plant’s growing period. With liquid, you’ll get the benefit of higher nutrient availability instantly.
You should weigh the pros and cons of each type before deciding which one is best for your plants and lawn.
This type of fertilizer comes in a granular form like powders, pellets, or granules. It can be applied by hand or with a spreader. Granular fertilizers are sprinkled onto the soil to feed, nourish, and promote plant and lawn growth.
Benefits of Granular Fertilizers
- The effect of granular fertilizers lasts much longer than liquid fertilizers. This is because nutrients are released slowly, and plants absorb them over time.
- As it is a slow-release fertilizer, you don’t have to apply it as often as liquid fertilizer.
- Significantly reduces the chances of over-fertilizing and harming your lawn or plants.
Disadvantages of Granular Fertilizers
- Granular fertilizers do not work well if the soil is dry.
- As these are slow-release fertilizers, they will not immediately release nutrients to the plants or lawn. So, plants with nutrient deficiencies may not absorb nutrients quickly enough to help them recover.
Liquid fertilizers are water-soluble powders or concentrates. These are mixed and diluted with water and then easily applied to lawns and plants using a watering can spray bottle or sprinkler.
Benefits of Liquid Fertilizers
- The main benefit of liquid fertilizer is that you can get quick results by having higher nutrient availability for plants and lawns to absorb instantly.
- Convenient packaging and storage. No bulky bags or boxes.
- Unlike a granular application, the liquid is diluted in water and applied accurately and evenly.
Disadvantages of Liquid Fertilizers
- Too much fertilizer can burn the foliage or roots of your plants. So, proper mix and application are essential.
- Liquid fertilizers need to be applied more frequently than granular fertilizers.
- The solution can leach out through the soil. Plants’ roots will not be able to access all the nutrients, especially if the plants are in raised garden beds.
- Liquid fertilizers can run off the landscape and into drains and other waterways. 
It is recommended that growers apply liquid fertilizers only in the spring and summer when crops are actively growing. This will minimize fertilizer runoff, which reduces the amount of pollution entering waterways.
Granular fertilizer may not give immediate results, but your plants will grow strong and healthy throughout the growing season if you use it properly.
Liquid fertilizer will give you the immediate release of nutrients to the plants or lawn. Plants with nutrient deficiencies will be able to absorb nutrients in time to help them recover.
So, one is not better than the other. It is all about which method works best for your situation. My suggestion will be to use granular fertilizer at the start of your growing season. Then, use liquid fertilizer to support when you see plant or lawn deficiencies.
Alternatives to Commercial Fertilizers
Some fertilizers are organic, while others are chemical. Some fertilizers are designed for indoor plants, while others are designed for outdoor.
Fertilizing your garden is an essential part of growing healthy, happy plants. There are several different forms and types of fertilizers that you can use as an alternative to commercially prepared fertilizers. These are:
- Garden Compost – is an excellent fertilizer alternative to commercial fertilizers. It can be made from any organic materials like grass clippings, kitchen waste, and leaves.
- Well-Rotted Manure – is the best fertilizer. Horse, chicken, pig, rabbit, sheep, cow, and goat manure are great nutrients for any garden.
- Weed Fertilizer Tea – can be made by simply placing garden weeds or lawn clippings into a bucket of water for a week. When ready, dilute it to about one part of the smelly weed tea to ten parts of water. This is the most cost-effective fertilizer that can be made.
- Fish Emulsion – is a good fertilizer alternative to commercial fertilizers available at most garden centers.
What To Do Next
Check out our Growing Guides to learn more about how to grow plants of your choice. Learn and help your plants by reading these guides.
Also, check out other similar articles in our Soil and Fertilizers section.
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