Liquid Vs Dry Fertilizer

A fertilizer that is fluid formulated and packaged as a liquid. This can include fertilizers that are clear liquids (solutions) or liquids that have suspended solids (suspension fertilizers). Turf managers use fertilizers sold and packaged as fluids less frequently than solids (granules), although such products are more widespread in agricultural applications. In fact, fluid fertilizers account fully for about 40 percent of total U.S. fertilizer sales. Samples of fluid fertilizers include anhydrous ammonia (which will be actually transported as a fluid and injected into soil in gaseous form), nitrogen (N) solutions (usually made from a mixture of ammonium and urea nitrate), ammonium polyphosphate and triazones. Fertilizers for turf use include an ever-growing and widely varied selection of products. As a turf manager, you quickly can become awash with information regarding the numerous formulations that are different analyses and grades of products designed for purchase. One of many choices, formulation-fluid or dry fertilizers-is one of the very most important. How can you decide which will be the right product for your requirements?

Solid fertilizers are dry particles that manufacturers size between an upper and lower limit of screen sizes. They could be finely crushed, dry fertilizers, crystalline, powder or processed into uniform prills. These fertilizers on their own usually are water-soluble for quick release but often are coated as controlled-release products. Controlled-release products also are called slow-release, slow-acting, metered-release or controlled-availability fertilizers.

Soluble materials Water-soluble fertilizers are rapidly readily available for turf growth. Samples of common water-soluble turf products include

  • ammonium nitrate (34-0-0)
  • potassium nitrate (13-0-44)
  • ammonium sulfate (21-0-0)
  • potassium sulfate (0-0-50)
  • urea (45-0-0)
  • Some water-soluble fertilizers are homogeneous products.

These have a uniform appearance and are made from blends of raw fertilizer materials such as:

  • Superphosphate
  • ammonium solutions
  • monoammonium phosphate (MAP)
  • diammonium phosphate (DAP)
  • urea
  • potassium chloride or potassium sulfate.
  • Only a few fertilizers that are phosphate completely water-soluble.
  • Fertilizer bags always list which raw materials the producer used in the fertilizer that is specific when you look at the bag.

    Other solid fertilizers are non-homogeneous blends (you can see the individual granules of various fertilizer materials), in which the manufacturer simply has mixed particles together to produce a desired composition that is overall. Non-homogeneous products may not uniformly spread as homogeneous products, especially if the particles are different sizes. Some products are a mix of soluble and slow-release bag that is fertilizers-the list the percentage of every when you look at the product.

    Pros and Cons of Dry Fertilizers Application

    Growth and color effects through the application of water-soluble fertilizers are comparatively short-lived, and that means you need certainly to apply these materials relatively frequently throughout the growth season, perhaps as frequently as every 3 to 4 weeks. The rule of thumb is not to exceed 1 pound of N per 1,000 square feet with any single application that is soluble-fertilizer.

    Water-soluble fertilizers produce rapid greening, have a cost that is low unit of nutrient, are easy to apply consequently they are easily obtainable from an array of dealers. The greening that is rapid these fertilizers are because of N, and perhaps sulfur or iron when you look at the fertilizer as well. These products are usually easy to neither handle nor take expensive equipment or circuit training to ensure correct application. Regular application of these products may also offer a small business bonus-your clients see you at their site frequently.

    In the negative side, some solid products can burn foliage if you do not quickly water them to the turf. In addition, they might require repeated applications to ensure continued quality that is turf may cause spurts of turf growth, which can present mowing and other management problems. Application of high rates of a material that is water-soluble which most experts usually do not recommend) also can present potential environmental hazards. Although easy to apply, care is necessary with dry fertilizers fertilizers-we have all seen the all-too-visible ramifications of an incorrectly calibrated spreader or incorrect application by an inattentive employee!

    Pros and Cons of Liquid Fertilizers Application

    Applicators often apply solid water-soluble fertilizers as liquids. They mix the dry fertilizer with water to create a remedy and apply it into the turf as a liquid or feed that is foliar. Liquid application of fertilizer uses a high spray volume (3 to 6 gallons per 1,000 square feet) to go nutrients towards the soil, a typical application method for many commercial lawn-care companies. Foliar feeding uses a diminished spray volume to make use of a small amount of fertilizer (for instance, iron commonly is applied because of this) straight to the foliage, providing rapid uptake of nutrients and quick correction of a nutrient deficiency. Typically, applicators use foliar feeding to supply a small amount of a deficient nutrient or as part of a fungicide application, to not supply most of the needed fertilizer for turf growth.

    Advantages from using soluble solids as liquid fertilizers include the capability to apply nutrients through irrigation (fustigation), possible use as a carrier for post-emergence herbicides and flexibility of application as a feed that is foliar. Liquid application of a soluble-solid fertilizer can decrease the risk of foliar burn, provide even coverage and enable simultaneous application of fertilizers and pesticides. You can apply liquid fertilizers at low rates on a frequent basis to spoon-feed turf, promoting even greening and consistent growth. Application of small amounts of fertilizer at regular intervals can prevent over-application, lessening environmental risk.

    Negatives can sometimes include the price of new or specialized application equipment and the issues of handling a heavy, bulky, liquid material. Plus, it can be difficult to apply higher rates of nutrients in a spray that is appropriate in order to avoid burning turf-frequent application becomes the key. However, the necessity for frequent application could be a problem, particularly when labor is in short supply.

    Controlled-release materials although we often think about controlled-release fertilizers as our newest kinds of fertilizer materials, they are actually our oldest. Slow-release organic fertilizers such as for example manures have been around for thousands of years, plus they remained the source that is only of nutrients until the 1850s. Developments in fertilizer technology within the 1950s and ’60s led to the N-fertilizer materials urea formaldehyde (or methylene urea or UF-all similar products), isobutylidene diurea (IBDU) and sulfur-coated urea (SCU). Soil microbes, soil temperature and also the exact chemical ratios in the fertilizer control launch of N from UF and materials that are related. Particle size and soil moisture control release of N from IBDU. Release of N from SCU varies with particle size, moisture while the thickness of this sulfur coating. These materials are still in common use today, and a close look at the label of several dry fertilizers fertilizer blends reveals that UF or IBDU may be the fertilizer that contributes to the slow-release nature regarding the product.

    New technologies have led to the development of resin or fertilizers that are polymer-coated. Marketed by a number of companies, the products are often a potassium that is coated, urea or potassium sulfate. Nutrient-release rates depend on factors such as moisture and temperature (depending on the product) and vary using the composition plus the thickness regarding the coating. These fertilizers are generally uniform in granule size and supply a release that is controlled of nutrients. These are typically an choice that is excellent high-value turf or when frequent application of soluble N is not an alternative.

    On the positive side, use of slow-release fertilizers provides controlled launch of nutrients, which creates a long-term, consistent turf grass response. As you have no need for frequent applications, you save labor. In addition, these products will often have a burn potential that is low. On the side that is negative they don’t have a tendency to provide rapid Greenup (though some manufacturers mix in some rapidly available N to offset this), and their cost per unit of nutrient is more than compared to soluble sources.

    Liquid slow-release products also are available, including the triazones. The products combine the advantages of using a liquid (such as low burn potential and tank-mixing) with all the great things about a slow-release source of N. However, like all liquid applications, they might require the appropriate equipment and the ability to store and handle liquids.
    Making the Final Selection
    As this discussion shows, all fertilizers have both advantages and disadvantages. The appropriate type for your operation is determined by several factors. Consider the following in making your choice of fluid or fertilizers that are solid

    • Do you’ve got the labor to make the applications that are frequent soluble liquid or solid products require?
    • Do you’ve got the equipment (or even the budget to get the equipment) to put on liquid fertilizers in the appropriate spray volume?
    • Calculate the fee per unit of nutrient; on large expanses of low-maintenance turf, soluble sources might be your cheapest & most effective way to obtain fertilizer.
    • Is your turf high-value? Consider slow-release products or light, low-rate applications of liquids in times of stress to avoid burning.
    • Do you will need quick Greenup or elimination of a iron that is visible sulfur or N deficiency? Foliar liquid application will be the best solution.
    • Think about the environment. Slow-release and properly timed applications of fertilizers will help protect water that is surrounding. This is really important in areas prone to heavy rains or considerable amounts of surface runoff, especially near wetlands or any other environmentally sensitive areas.
    • Know your goals and requirements. Consider soluble sources when you want to encourage quick turf responses and Greenup, and slow-release sources to promote consistent, even growth.
    • Finally, don’t pay for complete (N, P and K) fertilizer sources if you don’t need them-test your soil for P, K and lime recommendations.