Solid fertiliser v Liquid fertiliser

Date Posted: 2 September 2017 

With Spring weather finally upon us, it will soon be time to fertilise your lawn. Sometimes we get asked whether liquid fertilisers are better than solid fertilisers. It’s an interesting question! My initial answer to this is, “All fertilisers contain nu With Spring weather finally upon us, it will soon be time to fertilise your lawn. Sometimes we get asked whether liquid fertilisers are better than solid fertilisers. It’s an interesting question! My initial answer to this is, “All fertilisers contain nu

With Spring weather finally upon us, it will soon be time to fertilise your lawn. Sometimes we get asked whether liquid fertilisers are better than solid fertilisers. It’s an interesting question! My initial answer to this is, “All fertilisers contain nutrient so no matter how you apply them or in what form they will deliver what your lawn needs. In this way, it’s not a matter of which is best. It’s more about doing what’s best for you and your circumstances”.

Turf  professionals such as golf course managers and football oval curators use a combination of solid fertiliser and liquid fertilisers. This combination allows them to best manage their turf surface for optimal health and performance. The infrequent application of solid fertilisers provides a baseline level of nutrients which can be supplemented with liquids as required. On top of this, liquid fertilisers are applied to address elemental deficiencies or to green up a surface. Liquid fertilisers respond very quickly which is ideal in a professional context where fast results are critical. The amount of nutrient delivered when using liquids is low compared to solids meaning they need to be applied at regular intervals – around 2 weeks during the growing season.

Most people with home lawns tend to stick to solid fertilisers. They are easy to apply, only need to be applied 2-3 times per year compared to fortnightly applications for liquid fertiliser.  While they are not as versatile or as fast acting as liquids, they are less complicated to apply and less time consuming to keep on top of.  They do a great job of all delivering all of a lawns essential requirements.

To summarise:

Solid fertilisers:

  • Are more controlled release than liquids
  • Have the capacity to deliver more nutrient
  • Last longer – up to 3 months
  • Can have components of fast release and slow release together in the same bag
  • Are quick and easy to apply.

Liquid fertilisers

  • Are faster acting. This is because the liquid is applied to the leaves of the grass (foliar feeding) by spray so it enters the plant by the leaf not the roots.
  • The amount of nutrient applied is smaller in comparison to solid fertiliser, therefore the effect is limited and needs to be repeated at regular intervals. If you were only using liquid fertilisers, you would need to typically apply every 2 weeks during the growing season.
  • Are less likely to burn when compare to solid fertilisers.
  • Are very versatile. You can buy single elements such as iron and manganese to address deficiencies.

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