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Liquid Fertilizer: Sense and Sensibilities

by Kelly Richardson, All About Lawns Columnist

Looking for a way to make your trees, shrubs, lawn and flower beds come to life? Liquid fertilizer is the choice of millions of homeowners across the country for major results. Here's what you need to know to add this tool to your arsenal.

Liquid fertilizers provide three major plant nutrients-nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, and three secondary plant nutrients-calcium, sulfur, and magnesium. While the proportions may vary with each brand, the mixture accelerates growth and assists your lawn in defending itself from diseases. There are several different types to choose from, each providing a unique set of advantages depending upon the part of the country you live in.
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Understanding Fertilizer Types

  • Inorganic. Inorganic liquid fertilizers contain simple inorganic materials. Also referred to as mineral fertilizer, formulas include phosphates and limestone.
  • Organic. Organic liquid fertilizers are composed of organic matter and are carbon based. Formulas include manure, worm castings, peat, and seaweed.

As with most fertilizers, there are several considerations to keep in mind for a successful application. Size of lawn, regional climate, and application time are all factors that will influence your results.

Using Liquid Fertilizer

  • Mixture: One five-gallon pail of liquid organic fertilizer for most lawns.
  • Application: You'll need an inexpensive sprayer for complete lawn coverage.
  • Assimilation: Adding humates to the mix helps plants take up nutrients so fertilizer doesn't wash away.

Some homeowners like the liquid fertilizers so much that they use them year around for excellent results. Check with your local home and garden professionals for fertilizer tips tailored to your locale. 

About the Author
Kelly Richardson has obsessive compulsive lawn disorder and is afflicted with the need to share his knowledge with the world. Kelly writes lawn columns for a variety of home and garden magazines and e-zines.

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