Weighing the options of organic, chemical and slow-release fertilizers

Most homeowners want at least a decent lawn, but don’t want to pollute their well or foul up the environment in the process. Those concerns are largely behind an increased interest lately in organic lawn care — a system that relies on fertilizer from natural nutrient sources such as dehydrated manure, dried blood, bone meal and kelp instead of synthetic fertilizers from a manufacturing plant. Organic fertilizer offers several advantages over the more popular synthetic fertilizers, better known as “chemical” fertilizers. However, like most things in life, there are some cons of organic fertilizers that go along with the pros.

The newest fertilizer option: Slow-release nitrogen fertilizers

A third and newer fertilizer option is lawn fertilizer products that contain slow-release nitrogen (aka. time-release nitrogen); a technology that provides many of the advantages of organic fertilizers. These slow-release nitrogen fertilizer products are similar to timed-release medications in that the dose is released gradually as the various coatings break down. Several types of slow-release nitrogen are used in the fertilizer, and differing amounts can be mixed with standard nitrogen sources to regulate how much is released and at what rate.

Slow-release fertilizers can spread out the nitrogen release over 12 weeks or more, which eliminates unwanted surges in grass growths, cuts down applications to twice a year and lessens runoff because less material is applied.

Even newer to the market are fertilizers that are both high in slow-release nitrogen and phosphate free. These are aimed at homeowners who want benefits similar to organic fertilizer and who have lawns that already have plenty of phosphorus.

Choices, choices, choices! Even so, in the long run, a little homework can save money, produce a better lawn and be kinder to the environment all at the same time.

View the environmentally friendly GreenView Fairway Formula Fertilizers with advanced slow-release nitrogen technologies and phosphate-free.