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Which is better: liquid or granular lawn fertilizer treatments?

This article is directed at those who may choose to use a professional lawn fertilizing company like ChemLawn or Scott’s. But you DIY’ers can still glean some good info too …. so stay with me!

Which is better: liquid fertilizer treatments, or dry, granular ones? The answer is: NO.
Does that make sense?…of course not, so let’s break down some of the elements to help you choose a fertilizing company this Spring.
First off, you need to understand that the typical “lawn treatment” program involves 3 basic elements.

  • The fertilizer to green up the lawn and eventually thicken it
  • The weed control to knock out dandelions, clover and creeping Charlie
  • The crab grass pre-emergent to stop annual invading grasses from ruining the lawn

I can tell you from experience that 100% of reputable fertilizing companies use liquid weed control 100% of the time. This is because liquid pesticides are absorbed by weeds immediately and act faster. Also, pesticides delivered via liquid application are more environmentally sound than the typical granular “weed and feed” spreading that throws pesticides over the entire lawn whether needed or not. If you are looking at a lawn company that uses granular weed control, or bagged “weed-n-feed” products, drop them now! They are amatuer.
Crab grass pre-emergent can be liquid or granular and still bring the same results, so no preference here.
So what we are left with is the fertilizer end of the equation. Fertilizer in liquid form will absorb quickly into the soil and be used by grass plants immediately. Granular applications must rely on moisture in order to be broken down and dissolve into the soil.

In short, the best program will incorporate both granular and liquid treatments for fertilizing purposes (used according to weather conditions). I recommend liquid treatments during the wet Spring and dry applications of fertilizer during the dry summer. When choosing a lawn care company be sure to ask which they use and why.