Types of Fertilizer
Granular Fertilizer is the most common form of fertilizer. It is usually packed in a bag, and can be applied with a drop spreader, spin spreader or hydro seeder. One of the advantages of this type of fertilizer is that they can be made to release the nutrients into the soil over a period of time. Another advantage is low cost.
Water Soluble Fertilizer is designed to dissolve in water. These often are a blue powder. These fertilizers are often a little more expensive than granular fertilizer, and usually are not a time release fertilizer. Manufacturers of these fertilizers claim that when used with a hydro seeding system the nutrients will enter the outer layer of the seed and will speed up germination.
Liquid Fertilizer offers much of the same advantages and disadvantages as water soluble. fertilizers. The difference is that it is already in a liquid form and to use it you dilute it with water.
Organic Fertilizer are made from natural products such as bone meal, manure, dried blood, kelp and sea weed. They are popular with organic gardeners, and those who want to avoid man made chemicals and their effects on the body. Organic fertilizers are usually expensive and do not have a high level of nutrients.
What They Do
Any package of fertilizer will have three numbers which stand for (N) Nitrogen, (P) Phosphorus, and (K) Potassium. These are the three main ingredients that plants need, and they are always listed in that order.
Nitrogen (N) promotes green growth. Leafy plants such as grass need plenty of nitrogen to have nice color and rapid growth. The higher the nitrogen number, the more nitrogen that will be in the fertilizer. This is an important part of fertilizers used on an established lawn.
Phosphorus (P) is very beneficial to promoting a healthy root system. Fertilizers that are designed to be used when seeding grass are usually high in phosphorus. High phosphorus fertilizers are also used with perennials, bulbs, newly planted trees and shrubs and for flowers. The most common type of fertilizers that are high in phosphorus are Starter and Fall fertilizers.
Potassium (K) will improve the overall health of plants. It will also aid plants in withstanding cold and hot temperatures. Other chemicals in a fertilizer may include Magnesium which will aid in seed formation and helps plants have a dark green color. Calcium to help promote rooting, Sulfur for vigor and Iron for a dark green color.