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The Care & Handling of Granular Fertilizers

09 Feb 2011 6:04 PM | Ray Mattingly (Administrator)


Over the past say 15 years, the use of granular fertilizers in lawn care has grown dramatically along with the quality and competitive cost of the product. Granular fertilizer is easier to use, does not require expensive sprayers, and can be applied more quickly than a completely liquid application. The introduction of ride-on equipment has made the use of granular fertilizers even more popular. Along with such popularity comes problems. Here is a big one.

Granular fertilizer applications almost automatically land on the "impervious" surfaces around the lawn. Driveways, sidewalks, and the street end up being treated along with the lawn. Guess what? They do not grow as a result. However, they do act as a direct path from that "impervious" surface to the lowest spot around them. That lowest spot often ends up being a sewer, drainage tile, pond, or stream. And that is what must stop.

When you apply granular fertilizers, you need to then remove them from the walks, drives, and other hard surfaces around them. The Indiana State Chemist Office considers granular fertilizer on paved surfaces as a violation of the product label since such fertilizer is labeled for use on turf, not concrete. Increasingly, local governments will cite an applicator if the product ends up entering a body of water or storm sewer. The answer to this issue is simple. Buy a leaf blower. Have one in each truck. Use them as a part of the application. When done spreading blow the excess back onto the lawn.

In other words, do not give a regulatory agency or local government an easy reason to fine you for something that is also easy to control.

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