What Are Slow-Release Fertilizers?


If your grass is looking worse for the wear, it's likely time to apply lawn fertilizer. There are so many different lawn care products with unique uses that it can be daunting to select the right one. We're here to simplify lawn care for you by explaining the benefits of slow-release and quick-release fertilizers.

We want help you avoid wasting time and money on lawn care products that are not the right fit for your lawn. In this guide, we’ll learn all about slow-release fertilizers and if they are the right type of product for your lawn care needs. Additionally, you will know how slow-release fertilizers differ from quick release fertilizers and how to prepare your lawn for the most optimal nourishment.


Slow Release Fertilizers

All fertilizers contain a blend of macronutrients that work to enrich grass from the soil to grass blades. They are composed of varying blends of macronutrients like nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus mixed with micronutrients, such as boron, copper, and zinc. The active ingredients in any lawn care fertilizers are necessary for healthy soil. Different fertilizers may have a combination of nutrient ratios. Still, there is also a variance in the fertilizer product's chemical makeup that directly impacts how slowly or quickly the nutrients are released into the ground.

Organic materials take time to decompose and break down. The byproduct of organic materials is recycled into pellets to create slow-release fertilizers. They are dispersed across your lawn with a spreader. Slow release refers to the time it takes for organic matter to break down and release nutrients into the soil. The time it takes for soil absorption and nutrient uptake is dependent on the ground’s moisture and temperature when using slow-release fertilizers.

When it comes to lawn care, faster is not always better. The process of slowly releasing nutrients is beneficial for specific lawn care situations. You want to make sure your lawn care products and techniques will pay off now and in the long run. Lawn care health starts with the soil and fertilizer allows complete nourishment from the ground up.


These are just a few examples of the benefits of slow-release fertilizers

  •     Fertilize over an extended period
  •     Suitable for growing seasons in established lawns
  •     Less likely to burn grass
  •     Encourage uniform growth
  •     Natural growth
  •     Require less frequent application


Depending on your lawn care needs, you may want to consider the use of slow-release fertilizers to restore the health of your lawn. They are ideal for improving the overall health of an established lawn.

Whether it's a slow-release or quick release, you'll want to be sure you apply nutrients at the most optimal time and conditions, otherwise those nutrients could go to waste without proper absorption. Follow these lawn fertilizer guidelines to yield the most results from your lawn fertilizer.


Slow Release vs. Quick Release

Slow-release fertilizers have their benefits, but quick release fertilizers can be a suitable choice, too. Quick-release fertilizers are the result of synthetic, inorganic chemicals that release nutrients at a faster speed. These types of fertilizers are also more water-soluble and popular with liquid fertilizer application.

There are several benefits to using quick release fertilizers on your lawn:

  •     Nutrients are immediately available for plant and soil absorption
  •     Fast results for aesthetic needs
  •     Beneficial for new or young grass

Big Dog in Green Grass 

Quick-release fertilizers allow fast absorption and immediate results, but the repeated use of this type of fertilizer can cause your grass to develop a shallow root system. Slow-release fertilizers offer a disbursement of nutrients over time, so you can be sure your grass is getting what it needs long term. A slow-release fertilizer will give your grass the nutrients it needs to have a more sustainable grass growth over time.

The choice to use slow-release or quick release fertilizers depends on your grass and its needs. Identifying the problem and your goals will help you decide which type of fertilizer is best for a healthy lawn. 


Liquid Fertilizer

Liquid fertilizer gives a far more uniform application than traditional granular fertilizer pellets. When compared to granular fertilizer, it is exceptionally easy-to-use because it doesn’t require spreading equipment. The nutrients in liquid fertilizer are homogenous and well-mixed, so when you attach the fertilizer bottle to your hose, you can evenly spray your lawn for quick nutrient absorption.  The application is as easy and as quick as hand-watering your lawn. With the combination of water and fertilizer already together, there's no need to go back to water your lawn after the application, like you might need to do with other fertilizers.

With a liquid lawn care application like liquid fertilizer, your lawn can receive an equal distribution of products so that one spot is not better or worse than another part. The benefit of liquid fertilizer is that you do not need to wait for rainfall, plan for the right temperature, or apply perfect moisture conditions. Liquid fertilizer can be applied at any time, though we recommend a fertilizer application at least one to two times a year.


Aeration before Fertilizer Application

Whether you decide to go the slow release or quick-release fertilizer route, you can increase your chances of successful nutrient absorption with lawn aeration. Aeration is essential in creating a direct channel from the surface to the soil so that nutrients can make their way to the grassroots quicker and more effectively.

Lawn aeration isn't just an excellent predecessor to a fertilizer application - this process can reduce soil compaction by allowing the lawn to breathe. Water, sun, and nutrients are more accessible to the plant roots and soil after aeration.  Before applying any liquid fertilizer, use our Liquid Aerating Soil Loosener to condition the soil and aid absorption.

There are so many benefits to liquifying your lawn care, especially when it comes to aeration and fertilizer. With liquid lawn aeration products, there is no need for spiked, heavy lawn tools.

With the right fertilizer and grass care techniques, you will be well on your way to achieving a healthy, thick lawn. No matter what your lawn care needs are, we have you covered with a collection of fertilizers to revive and restore your grass.

2 Responses

Simple Lawn Solutions
Simple Lawn Solutions

December 15, 2020

Hello John, thank you for your comment. We do not know of any injector systems, however, our fertilizers are made to be sprayed by hand with a hose-end sprayer. You could also use a backpack sprayer to mix the solution with water. Please reach out by email if you have any other questions! : )

John deWit
John deWit

December 15, 2020

Are there injector systems available that allow for application of your liquids with underground irrigation systems. Our systems draws water from a lake (for whatever that’s worth).

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