How Long Does it Take Granular Fertilizer to Work?

You’ve sprinkled your lawn with fertilizer and watered to ensure it dissolves. Now you’re wondering for long will you wait to see a lush of green color in your garden. So, how long does it take for granular fertilizer to work?

Generally, granular fertilizers take 1 to 2 weeks to work after application. However, it depends on the type of fertilizer you are using. If it is a quick release, you will probably start to see some amazing results within a few days. While if it is slow release, you will have to wait a while longer to notice the results.

How long does granular fertilizer take to work on grass?

The importance of fertilizing your lawn is to have a lush green color and healthy grass that is resistance to infections. However, you need a fertilizer that will work and give the best results. How long it take granular fertilizer to work on your grass varies. It’s determined by the type of fertilizer i.e. is it organic slow-release or synthetic quick-release.

Let’s have a look at each of them:

1. Organic Granular Fertilizers

Organic slow-release fertilizers contain primary nutrients required by the plants, i.e. Nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. It may also contain micronutrients, potash and microorganisms that are helpful to your lawn. These nutrients are derived from organic sources such as fish emulsion, bone meal, blood meal or other organic materials

Fertilizing your lawn with organic fertilizers take longer before you notice any positive results. This is because they have to decompose fully before releasing nutrients. However, they have long lasting results. They are also environmental friendly.

2. Synthetic Granular Fertilizer

Synthetic fertilizers also contain nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium as the main components. They are artificially made in a laboratory using chemicals. They dissolve easily to release nutrient. Therefore, they have a quicker results when applied on the lawn.

When purchasing synthetic quick release fertilizer, be sure to check its nutritional ratios or percentages. For instance, when choosing fertilizer to apply on your lawn in spring, go for the ratio with a little higher phosphorus to stimulate root growth.

Synthetic fertilizers can also be designed to release the nutrients slowly. They are coated with other compounds to slow the release. Fertilizing your lawn with such fertilizer may take a little longer to show results. Probably 1 to 2 weeks after application.

Synthetic granular fertilizers contains high amount of Nitrogen which to enhances production of chlorophyll. It also contains some amount of phosphorus and potassium to enhance root development and build immunity of plants against drought, weeds, pests and diseases attack respectively.

Granular lawn fertilizer

Does granular fertilizer need to be watered in?

The short answer is yes. Granular fertilizer need to be watered in the lawn right away after application. It help to wash the fertilizer off the grass blades and into the soil. Water also dissolves the fertilizer into a form that is easily absorbed by plant.

It is also important because fertilizers have a scorching effects. They can burn your lawn when allowed to sit on the grass blades for too long. Am sure you don’t want to have patches of brown discolorations on your lawn.

The soil need to be moist prior and after fertilizing your lawn. However, you are supposed to water moderately. Excess watering can cause a run-off and end up washing away the nutrients. Water evenly and deeply for about 20 minutes. An inch of water into the soil should be able to the trick.

Fertilizers also present other dangers when washed away through. It can pollute the underground water, nearby streams and ponds. This can lead to poisoning of marine animals and other wildlife.

 If you are using a sprinkler and a horse, be sure to move it around so that the whole area receive even coverage of water. If you don’t have an irrigation system, you can let the rain do the trick for you. Here you have to do a correct timing.

When relying on rainfall, visit a weather forecasting station to get information on the rainfall amount. Fertilize your grass or plants prior to a light rainfall of about ½ an inch. If the weather station is forecasting heavy rainfall, do not apply the fertilizer as it may leech.

Now that you’ve watered your lawn or plants after fertilizing, what do you do next? Do you stop or continue watering? This is really an important question. After the initial watering wait for a couple of days for the fertilizer to settle in before going back to your routine watering procedure.

Avoid light and frequent watering, instead, water evenly and deeply. Frequent and light watering promotes shallow and needy root growth while infrequent and even and deep watering promotes deeper and healthy root growth.

How long does granular fertilizer take to dissolve?

Granular fertilizers are small solid granules that are sprinkled around or into the plants. When applied into the soil, they dissolve slowly to release nutrients as required by the plant. Generally, they can dissolve slowly and last up to 9 month before wearing out.

Once applied on your plants, they need water to dissolve before being absorbed by the plants. Unlike their liquid counterpart that are absorbed almost immediately. Therefore, they take several days to observe positive results after application.

How long it take granular fertilizer to dissolve depends on the type. There are two main types of granular fertilizer that include: slow-release and uncoated or quick-release fertilizers.

Slow-release Granular Fertilizers

They are also known as controlled-release fertilizers. They are formulated to dissolve and release their nutrients slowly into the soil for a long period of time. They are coated with resin polymers or other compounds to help them dissolve slowly over a long period. They can take 2 to 9 month to dissolve completely.

When applied on plants, it take 1 to 2 weeks before you notice any positive change. The good thing with controlled-release fertilizer is that they releases nutrients in small quantities as required by the plant. They applied only once or twice at most on the entire growing season. It saves on time and other resources.

Quick-release or Uncoated Granular Fertilizers

Quick-release fertilizers dissolves easily when exposed to sunlight, water and soil micro-organisms. They are absorbed by the roots almost instantly after application and can last in the soil for a period of two to four weeks. Since they are absorbed easily, you may start to observe a lush green color on your lawn or other plants within 1 to 5 days after application.

Like any other type of fertilizer, quick release fertilizers has its own pros and cons. It requires frequent application since it only last in the soil only for a couple of weeks. Although they are cheaper than coated fertilizers, they will consume more of your time due to frequent application.

How long does granular fertilizer last in the soil

How long granular fertilizers last in the soil is determined by the type, formulation, and the purpose of the fertilizer that you are using. Different fertilizers are made from different ingredients to meet the intended nutritional requirements by the plant.

Generally, fertilizers can stay in the soil in between 7 days to 9 month. The exact amount of time a fertilizer last in the soil vary depending on the type and purpose of the fertilizer. Let’s have a look at each:

Type of the Fertilizer

There are two different types of granular fertilizer. Slow-release fertilizer and quick-release fertilizer. Slow release fertilizer tend to last longer in the soil as compared to quick release fertilizer.

Slow-release fertilizers contains nutrients in a more complex form. They dissolve slowly to release small quantities of nutrients into the soil. They can last into the soil for up to 9 month. Most of them are meant to last for the entire growing season.

On the other hand, quick-release fertilizers contains readily available nutrients to the plants. They are absorbed by the plants almost immediately after application and can only last in the soil 2 to 4 weeks.

Both slow and quick release fertilizers contains the same nutrients but the way they dissolve determines how long they last in the soil

The purpose of the Fertilizer

Some fertilizers are formulated to target a certain growth stage while others are meant to last for the entire growing season of the plant. For instance, you may require different fertilizers during planting stage, growth stage and flowering stage. Each fertilizer formulation will only last for a couple of weeks.

Final Thoughts

Both organic and synthetic lawn fertilizers have their own pros and cons. It is up to you to choose on what to use on your lawn. However, if time is of the essence and you want a fast results, then you can go for synthetic fertilizers.

While if you want to conserve the environment and improve the overall health of the soil, then go the organic way. It takes more time to decompose before releasing nutrients into the soil but the results lasts for a longer period of time. It’s worthy trying.  

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