Understanding Quick-Release Fertilizers
Quick-release fertilizers are powdered fertilizers that you mix with water according to the manufacturer’s label. These fertilizers are also known as water-soluble fertilizers. The reason that they are called quick-release fertilizer because of their availability to plant life. In other words, once they are applied to plants, they are taken up right away.
Care must be taken however because if applied too heavy, these fertilizers can cause the plant to burn. Fertilizers are salts and when applied too heavy or in the wrong amounts, the excess salt gathers around the plant root zone and pulls water away from the plant. So instead of the plant taking in water, the reverse happens.
Water is absorbed out of the plant and because of this, the plant will begin to wilt. If the plant root system does not get flushed out, that plant will eventually die. Also if you use this type of fertilizer on sandy soils because of the soil profile or because of its poor water holding capacity, the fertilizer once applied will drain on through rapidly. With a soil type like this, there is still hope just add compost to the soil to help condition the soil so that it would be better able to retain this type of fertilizer.
Quick-release fertilizers have their place within the landscapes. Sometimes a plant may need a quick boost to help it recover more quickly from a lack of nutrients.
Fertilizers are a good source to supply your plants with the nutrients that they need in order for them to keep growing nice and healthy.
The advantages of using quick release fertilizers
1. Plant nutrients are made available right away and are taken up immediately by plant roots.
2. Fertilizers are less expensive than slow-release fertilizers.
3. Unlike slow-release fertilizer, these fertilizers do not need heat or moisture to be broken down, it just simply dissolves in water.
4. Plants can be fed through their foliage (leaves) this process is known as foliage feeding.
The disadvantages of quick-release fertilizers
1. If used in the wrong way or applied too heavy plants can be burnt.
2. Leaches very quickly.
3. May increase labor cost.
4. Can cause grass growth to increase during summer months increasing chinch bugs activity
Label is law
Remember label is law. There are many quick release fertilizers that are out there, most of which are sold under different trade names. But as different as they may be, there is one rule that governs all and that is following the manufacturer’s direction to the very letter. Many that have failed to follow the manufacturer’s directions have paid the painful price.
Some decided to add just a little more, thinking that a little extra would go a long way only to cause injury to the plant and in some cases even death of that plant. So as tempting as a little extra may seem, fight the temptation and follow the direction.
The choice of choosing a fertilizer is still yours whether quick release, slow-release, or choosing organics. And remember each has its pros and its cons.