Switching To Dry Fertilizer Pellets? Here Are Some Changes You Need To Know
Fertilizer pellets or granules offer the slow-release nutrition your soil needs, letting you concentrate on other gardening tasks each month. However, they require different care and attention than liquid fertilizers, especially if you have pets. If you're about to add dry fertilizer to your lawn, read on to find out about a few changes you'll need to enforce.
Keep Dogs Away
Dry fertilizer is sometimes very tasty to dogs, especially if the fertilizer contains materials like bone meal. However, fertilizer can also harm your dogs—not to mention that the digging and general disruption left by the dogs can harm the garden or lawn—so you need to ensure your dogs either stay away from the lawn or garden, or you should provide an unfertilized patch for them to roll around in. Another option is to use dry fertilizer on part of the yard and liquid on the rest; after a few days, dogs can usually go back into the section that used liquid fertilizer.
Adjust for Cold Weather
Dry fertilizer doesn't break down as easily in very cold weather. If you're in one of the sections of the country that is still experiencing freezes or drops in temperature, you may want to either wait to fertilize, or use a liquid fertilizer when the temperature is above freezing. You can still use dry if you want; just be aware that it will take longer to work.
Watch out for Wind
Dry fertilizer can be placed on top of the soil or worked in—and if it's going to be windy, you may want to take the time to work it in at least a little. A light breeze shouldn't move pellets, but a strong wind could. If your area is due for some windy conditions after your fertilizer session, tamp the pellets down into the soil at the very least.
Coordinate Watering Schedules in Drought Zones With Applications
If the area you live in currently has restricted watering schedules due to drought (not everyone benefited from the heavy rains of this past winter), apply fertilizer so that you can water when needed without violating the watering schedule. For example, if you get a fertilizer that needs to be watered in immediately, apply the fertilizer on one of your watering days, instead of applying it whenever.
Fertilizer use is often influenced by region and current weather, so contact a fertilizer company like Nature Safe or a nursery familiar with the brand you're using for more detailed instructions.