Granular fertilizer and liquid fertilizer are your two options for fertilizing your lawn. There are pros and cons to both granular fertilizer and liquid fertilizer and most has to do with preference. In our business we prefer to use granular fertilizer products because they are less volatile. Volatility in fertilizing can refer to a number of things. Since we are talking about liquid fertilizer, we will focus on the product being in a liquid form. With any liquid product being sprayed, there are a number of things to consider. Leaching, drift and runoff are the biggest ones. Since liquid fertilizer is in a liquid form, the chances are always there for a misapplication. The repercussions of a misapplication with a liquid product are greater because it is not as easily containable. Leaching, drift and runoff are extremely limited in granular fertilizer products because you have more control over how you are applying the product. Outside circumstances play a smaller role in a misapplication with granular products then liquid products.
Pros of granular fertilizer and liquid fertilizer.
Granular fertilizer does not activate on contact. The product requires weathering and moisture to activate the product. Granular fertilizer is more stable to work with because you have more control over how the product is installed.
Liquid fertilizer provides for quicker green up and faster absorption into the plant. Liquid fertilizer is usually cheaper to purchase than granular fertilizer. You can spike your pesticide tank with liquid fertilizer to add a subtle influx in fertilizer to the lawn that you are treating.
Cons of granular fertilizer and liquid fertilizer.
Granular fertilizer can cause lawn streaking if you do not overlap your application properly. Some low quality granular fertilizer may contain too much pearl dust which will also streak your lawn.
Liquid fertilizer can burn a lawn if it is applied during the summer if the temperatures are too high. Liquid fertilizer can drift to non target plants and cause spot burns or cause the plant to die in some cases.