One of the most critical procedures for plant growth is fertilization. It can be challenging and complicated. Knowing what kinds of fertilizer should be used? How much? What brand? What exactly am I looking for? And when you should fertilize your crops there are many available options in the market today. Finally, there are two forms of fertilizers: granular and liquid. Both work effectively in their own ways, so it’s important to understand their differences! This article will assist you in getting an idea of Granular Fertilizer For Plants.
What makes granular and liquid fertilizers different from one another?
While liquid fertilizers are manufactured from water-soluble powders or liquid concentrates that combine with water to generate a liquid fertilizer solution, granular fertilizers are solid granules. Plants absorb most water-soluble fertilizers readily, whereas granular fertilizers must dissolve or degrade before plants can obtain their nutrients.
These should be worked into the soil or sprinkled around plants. Depending on the type, they can remain from 1 to 9 months. Because they must first decompose before releasing nutrients, it usually takes a watering and a few days to see the effects.
Some companies produce synthetic granular fertilizers in which various compounds are employed to achieve the appropriate nutrient balance. When applied, this type of fertilizer has a very accurate balance and a highly predictable action. Others produce their fertilizer from natural ingredients, such as compost and manure, then pelletize them for gardening convenience. These fertilizers are examined before being sold, although they may not always have the same nutrient balance as synthetic fertilizers.
Before planting, it’s a good idea to work them into the soil. You’ve probably heard of standard granular farm-grade fertilizers like 8-8-8 and 10-10-10.
How To Apply Granular Fertilizers?
Granular fertilizers should be broadcasted over a large area by hand or spreader for the season’s first “starter” fertilizer treatment. Alternatively, if you’ve already planted, apply fertilizer along the rows. To facilitate the fertilizer’s absorption down toward the root zones of the plants, all dry fertilizers should be worked or moistened into the top 3 to 5 inches of soil with a hoe or spade after application.
If your plants are already developing, cultivate them gently, so no roots are damaged. Lighter supplemental treatments can be provided to the top inch of soil during the growing season in perennial beds, crop rows, and around tree or shrub drip lines. Granular fertilizers can be applied right before a good rain, which helps move the fertilizer deeper into the soil where roots can absorb it.
Guidelines For Using Granulated Fertilizer
- Spread granulated fertilizer by hand in flowerbeds and border areas, then rake it into the ground.
- Use a mechanical spreader in open areas like lawns.
- Always wash fertilizer granules off of foliage. After applying the granulated fertilizer, immediately water it to activate it.
Advantages of Granular Fertilizer
- Granular fertilizers have a much longer duration of action than liquid fertilizers. This is because nutrients are delivered gradually, and plants absorb them over time. Granule release times can range from a month to nine months.
- Because it is a slow-release fertilizer, it does not require as frequent application as liquid fertilizer.
- Minimizes the possibility of overfertilizing and damaging your plants or lawn.
- Organic granular fertilizer that is free of chemicals is also available on the market.
- Bulk pricing is less expensive.
- Easier to store (doesn’t “settle” or “salt out” in cold weather)
Disadvantages of Granular Fertilizers
- Granular fertilizers are ineffective in dry soil. The pH of the soil may also have an impact on its efficiency.
- Because these are slow-release fertilizers, nutrients will not immediately be released to the plants or lawn.
- Plants with nutritional shortages may not absorb nutrients rapidly enough to help them recover.
- Granular fertilizers are typically packaged in heavy bags that can be difficult to move. In contrast, liquid fertilizers are packaged in smaller bottles that can be connected to your garden hose for application or mixed with water in a spray tank.
- They have a higher salt content, which causes newly forming roots to steer away from the fertilizer rather than toward it.
- Immobile nutrients, such as phosphorus, an essential macronutrient for plants, are difficult to move throughout the plant when not in liquid form.
Liquid fertilizers are powders or concentrate that dissolve in water. These are blended and diluted with water before being administered to lawns and plants with a spray bottle or sprinkler. In contrast to solid, granular fertilizer, liquid fertilizer is a liquid solution that is usually mixed with water and applied to turfgrass or plants. Liquid fertilizer is a highly concentrated version of granular fertilizer that contains more nutrients and is commonly offered in bottles that attach to the end of your garden hose.
How To Apply Liquid Fertilizers
When using any water-soluble fertilizer, the substance must first be dissolved in irrigation water before being administered to the plant’s leaves and surrounding soil.
Caution: Do not use liquid fertilizer at the same time you plant! Some root hairs will break no matter how carefully you remove plants from their pots and place them in the ground. The fertilizer will quickly contact the roots and enter them at the damaged spots, possibly “burning” them and resulting in additional die-back. Many gardeners wait 2 to 3 weeks after planting before applying liquid fertilizer; by then, the newly planted plants should have recovered from any root damage.
To prevent burning the roots if the soil is dry, it is crucial to carefully water plants with plain water before using liquid fertilizer. Also, be sure that the fertilizer is correctly diluted according to the directions, or you risk burning the leaves.
If you have one, you can use an injector device to run fertilizer through a watering system. Using liquid sprays on dry days in the early morning or early evening is ideal when the leaves have time to absorb the ingredient. Avoid the hottest days possible because they can cause the foliage to burn.
Advantages of Liquid Fertilizers
- The key advantage of liquid fertilizer is that it has a better nutrient availability for plants and lawns to absorb immediately, allowing quick results.
- Simple packaging and storage.
- There will be no large bags or boxes.
- Unlike granular applications, the liquid is diluted in water before being applied precisely and evenly.
- Liquid fertilizers also have less salt content, which is why they are typically preferable for starter fertilizers.
- Catalyst Technology encapsulates particular nutrients to protect them.
- The formation of a net neutral particle prevents phosphorus, potassium, and other nutrients from tying up with other ions in the soil and water.
- This method ensures that plants are available for a prolonged period.
Disadvantages of Liquid Fertilizers
- Too much fertilizer might burn your plants’ foliage or roots. As a result, correct mixing and application are critical.
- Liquid fertilizers require more frequent application than solid fertilizers. The solution has the potential to leach into the soil.
- Plant roots cannot receive all nutrients, particularly if the plants are grown in raised garden beds. Liquid fertilizers can leach into drains and other waterways from the landscape.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Q: Is it possible to use liquid and granular fertilizers at the same time?
- A: You certainly can. You can mix granular fertilizer into the planting hole before planting your transplant. The soil and leaves of the transplant are then thoroughly soaked in a liquid fertilizer, typically a mixture of fish and seaweed. This method allows the plant to benefit from both the liquid fertilizer’s instant nutrient absorption and the granular fertilizer’s slower release of nutrients.
- Q: Is it possible to dissolve dry fertilizer with water?
- A: Both dry fertilizer and liquid fertilizer can be easily dissolved in water. Granular fertilizers are not easily dissolved because they are in powder form. Due to a delayed reaction, it can take many hours to dissolve in water.
- Q: Can I Use These Fertilizers Indoors?
- A: Vegetables can be successfully grown indoors if you provide them with appropriate light and fertilizer, as you often use sterile potting or container soil. Most organic fertilizers can be used inside. However, keep in mind that some, such as fish emulsion, might have strong odors. Using liquid fertilizers, stick to less odorous fertilizers like seaweed, worm casts, and compost teas. Most granular fertilizers are safe to use if they are lightly raked into the soil. However, be cautious because some may introduce mold into the enclosed confines of indoors.
Both fertilizer types are advised for use. Researching the best one for your particular needs of plant growth is essential because they each have their own distinctive advantages, but you don’t need to worry about that! Because depending on the type of fertilizer chosen, every packet will provide instructions on how much product you should use per week or month! There is an easy method to figure out all of this: read every instruction on the package before applying any product.