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Types of Fertilizer

Generally, fertilizers are needed for most plants to have enough nutrients. But, if you’ve ever looked for a fertilizer for your plants, you’ve probably noticed that several types are available, including liquid, granular, and organic varieties. What’s the difference between all of these, and which one is best for your plants?

Granular fertilizer is solid and, when worked into the soil, takes longer to dissolve than liquid varieties. This type usually lasts about one to nine months in the soil and, when the garden is watered, breaks down to release nutrients. General granular fertilizer usually comes in grades 8-8-8 and 10-10-10 for vegetables and farm plants.

One variation on granular fertilizer is high-tech granular fertilizer, also called “slow release,” “timed release,” or “controlled release” fertilizer. While this type of fertilizer usually lasts two to nine months, the granular bits are coated, which delays and lengthens the releasing of nutrients. Although this variety is more expensive, it ends up being more economical, as it needs to be applied only one to two times during a growing season.

Organic fertilizers are another granular option. These are made from naturally-occurring substances, such as manure, blood meal, and cottonseed meal, with no synthesized elements added. These fertilizers work by attracting microbes to the soil to break down.

Liquid fertilizer is another option for your garden. These come in a powdered form or liquid concentrate to be mixed with water. For this, a hose sprayer or watering can is needed. The substance, additionally, has a green or blue dye added, so you can see it being released when combined with water. While a liquid fertilizer isn’t enough for long-term use, it’s ideal for plants needing a quick nutrient boost in the beginning.





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