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Which is Better Liquid or Granular Fertilizer?

November 16, 2022

Pride-In-Turf is a local Atlanta lawn fertilizer company. Here are some pros and cons of both liquid and granular fertilizers. Hopefully, this helps you determine a choice for what best suits your lawn.

When trying to determine whether to purchase a liquid or granular fertilizer, there are many factors to consider.  There are no real hard and fast rules on this, and you can make your decision based on personal preference.  Some prefer to use a combination of both.  There are certain conditions where it may be best to use one over the other, depending on the needs of your lawn and what works best for you.  Some information about both liquid and granular fertilizers is included in this article to help you determine what works best for you.  Whichever type of fertilizer you choose, remember that they all should have the required nutrients ( N-P-K).

Liquid Fertilizer

Liquid formulations of fertilizer are diluted with water and sprayed on lawns.  A good time to spray liquid fertilizer on your lawn is after a good rain.  A gallon of liquid fertilizer that is mixed with water can cover a large area.  So, even though it is typically more expensive than granular fertilizer, it can be a better value.  You can use your liquid fertilizer on your lawn as well as plants.  Liquid fertilizers are quickly absorbed into the soil, which makes it easier for the nutrients to reach the roots.  The liquid does not last as long as granular fertilizers, however, and needs to be applied more often.  Typically, it should be applied every 2 – 3 weeks, but the coverage is more consistent.

Granular Fertilizer

Granular fertilizers are applied with a drop or rotary spreader.  It is best to divide the amount needed into two parts and apply it in two directions for a more uniform distribution.  Apply the fertilizer in one direction, then apply the other half in the other direction (at right angles from each other).  Granular fertilizers are on small, solid particles.  These dry organic granules are applied directly on the lawn.  Using granular fertilizer is easier to use when you want to spread it and forget it.  It also does not need to be applied as often as granular, as it lasts 4 – 6 weeks.

Is it Okay to Use Both Liquid and Granular Fertilizer?

Some people prefer to use both types of fertilizers.  If you decide to use both, you should use 50% of each type of fertilizer.  If you use both liquid and granular types of fertilizers, you will get excellent coverage on your lawn.  If you are using a preemergence fertilizer in the early Spring, it needs to be wet into the soil.  Using liquid fertilizer will provide this.  If you decide to use half the formula of liquid to get a jump start on your lawn, then add half the amount of granular on top, it will last longer and give that good coverage you want.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Liquid vs Granular Fertilizer

Below is a table of the advantages and disadvantages of both types of fertilizer.  Hope this helps you make the best determination for your lawn.

Liquid FertilizerGranular Fertilizer
Plants absorb nutrients immediatelyTypically more expensiveSlow-release formulas last longer.  Does not have to be spread as often.Nutrients are not uniform since each pellet has different nutrients (N, P, or K)
Quick-release – does not sit on soil for long period of timeHas to be added more frequentlyUsually not as expensiveTakes longer for plants to absorb nutrients
Same formulation of nutrients in every drop


You can base which type of fertilizer you use on the needs of your lawn – or use which works best for you.  Remember that the timing of getting fertilizers on your lawn is important, as well as the type of grass you have.  Some of the factors above can help you determine which is best, or you can use a combination of both types of fertilizers.  If you are uncertain or do not have the time to do this, it is always a good idea to contact Pride-In-Turf.  They are a professional lawn care service and can determine exactly what your lawn needs.  You can be assured of a quality job that will give you the beautiful lawn you want.

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