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Granular Lawn Fertilizers

PROS: Feeds grass plants the natural way, through the root system. Some granular products are specially coated to provide a time release effect. Time release properties of the granular pellets provides longer term benefits to the health of the grass plant and have a low burn potential. Slow release provides for long benefits and fewer applications.

CONS: Takes longer for fertilizer to soak in especially time-released products. If heavy rains occur during the lifetime of the granular pellets, some nutrients may be washed away and thus becomes less effective. Does not provide the instant green-up associated with liquid fertilizers and they cost more than liquids.

Professional lawn care providers have developed special formulations unavailable to the general public that provides optimum benefit.

Professionals apply the correct amount for your conditions. It is important that you not over apply fertilizers to your lawn. Applying an excess amount of fertilizer may get washed away and end up in our streams and rivers causing problems.

When applying granular fertilizers yourself, make sure you sweep granules off hard surfaces like sidewalks and drives into the lawn where they can be absorbed properly. Some fertilizer pellets can cause stains to carpets if tracked inside.

Granular pellets need to be watered in soon after application to avoid burning the grass.

Rising prices

Expect lawn fertilizer prices to skyrocket in 2006. Besides driving up fuel prices, red-hot world-wide demand for natural gas and petroleum products is making fertilizer prices rise as well.

Natural gas and petroleum provide the basic building blocks of fertilizer. Some experts are predicting as much as a 20% increase in the price of fertilizer this year.

Expect lawn care providers to start offering soil testing at the beginning of the year to measure your soil's nutritional needs. Soil testing will determine the kinds and amounts of fertilizer that are really needed to provide optimum results on turf and ornamentals.

DIY: Make sure your spreader is calibrated correctly so you put down just enough fertilizer product to create optimum growing conditions.