What Is Slow Release Fertilizer?

By Allyn Paul, filed under Lawn Tips.



I got an email from a reader the other day asking me if slow release fertilizers were what she should be buying. I thought this was a great question and decided to share the answer here with all of you.

What is Slow Release Fertilizer?

If you visit your local home and garden center, you will no doubt find all types of lawn fertilizers on the shelves. Each one has its own advantages and disadvantages, but slow releasing fertilizers tend to be what most people want and they don’t even know why.

A slow resease lawn fertilizer is one that distributes nutrients, usually nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus an sometime iron into the lawn over time. This time can vary from a few weeks to several months depending on the formulation and how much you apply. Slow release products offer the advantage of fewer yearly applications and less chance of lawn damage from over-application.

Organic Fertilizers Slow Release Naturally




Many synthetic or man-made fertilizers are slow release because of a sulfur coating that surround the nutrients. The more water that hits the pellets, the fast the nutrients are released. These work great, but the very best slow release fertilizers are organics.

Organic lawn fertilizers only release nutrients when heat is present. This means that the hotter it gets outside, the natural breakdown of the organic material releases the nutrients in to the turf. This is not only a very healthy process, but it is the way nature intended, and that is always good. Another very strong advantage to organic fertilizers is that there is almost no chance of buring the lawn, ever! This is huge, especially if you did not take the time to buy a good lawn fertilizer spreader!

Long story short, if you are looking for slow release lawn fertilizers, then go with organics, and do it naturally!

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