Home Buying Guides 11 of the Best slow release fertilizer for 2020

11 of the Best slow release fertilizer for 2020

by Jackson White

When it comes to fertilizing your plants and lawn, there are lots of choices to choose from. While most gardeners are reluctant to use anything that contains chemicals, others don’t have a problem with applying chemicals to their plants. Different plants and different soil types have different nutrient needs. Slow release fertilizers provide these nutrients slowly over time which allows the plants to absorb all the nutrients they need.

Slow release fertilizers provide a small but steady amount of nutrients over some time. These fertilizers can be organic, natural that add nutrients to the soil by breaking down naturally and decomposing. A slow release fertilizer is coated with sulfur or resin-based polymer that is slowly broken down by the water, soil microbes, heat, and the sun. These fertilizers are more expensive than your normal fertilizers, but their benefits are worth it. Slow release fertilizers save you on manpower and human error so you don’t over-apply the fertilizer that will burn your plants.

Table for the best slow release fertilizer

Fertilizer
Suitable for
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For all veggies, houseplants, flowers, trees, and shrubs
All grass types
All plants and hydroponics
Turfgrasses
Rose bushes and flowering shrubs
Garden veggies, annuals, and perennials
Turfgrass
Flowering plants
Veggies, trees, flowers, and shrubs
Trees and shrubs
Flowers, veggies, trees, fruits, and shrubs

Miracle-Gro water-soluble all-purpose plant food

Miracle-Gro is a trusted and well-known brand among gardeners and its all plant mineral fertilizer is affordable and versatile that you can use it on your veggies, trees, flowers, and other plants. If you follow the instructions on the package, it’s safe to use on all plants without burning them and it goes to work instantly. You just dissolve the water-soluble plant food and use it to feed your plants every one to two weeks. It instantly provides your plants with the nutrients they need to grow bigger and healthier. You can also mix it with compost as prescribed or use it as an alternative to compost. You should apply different doses depending on the size and maturity of your plants and whether the plants are planted in a container or on the ground. Young plants require smaller amounts than mature ones.

 

Pros

  • You can apply this fertilizer to all plants
  • It starts to work instantly after application
  • If used correctly it won’t burn your plants
  • Provides the nutrients your plants need to flourish and grow

Cons

  • The product’s portion is smaller than expected

 

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Scotts turf builder lawn food

If you envy your neighbor’s thick and luscious lawn, you can also make your lawn have that healthy look by using Scotts turf builder. This is a high-quality lawn fertilizer that will help your grass grow greener and thicker crowding out the weeds that would want to invade your lawn. You can apply this lawn food on all types of grass to provide the nutrients your grass needs to help it grow strong and deep roots that will in turn help to strengthen your lawn to be able to handle stressful situations, especially against drought and heat. You can apply this lawn food at any time of the season and it can last for up to 6 weeks. It has an NPK ratio of 32-0-4 and if you apply it correctly it will unlock your best lawn, but it can also burn your grass if you apply too much.

 

Pros

  • Greens and thickens your lawn very well
  • Noticeable difference in just one application
  • The formula is kid and pet-friendly
  • Helps your grass grow strong deep roots

Cons

  • Can stain your concrete
  • Can burn your grass

 

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Dyna-Gro plant food

This is a complete nutrition solution that contains all the 16 essential nutrients, 6 essential macronutrients, and all 10 micronutrients every plant needs need to grow healthy and strong. This makes it the best fertilizer for growing indoor plants as well as hydroponics or plants in poor, rocky soils. This liquid fertilizer is very easy to use, you just dilute as per the instructions and pour it over your plants. It has an NPK ratio of 7-9-5 and also contains some important micronutrients like magnesium and calcium that will help to promote healthier blooms and foliage. This is an excellent fertilizer that you can use on all plants to help promote vibrant growth.

 

Pros

  • Provides all the nutrients your plants need to grow
  • Very easy to use with clear instructions
  • Very effective and safe for indoor potted plants
  • Promotes rapid foliage growth and healthy plants

Cons

  • Can be difficult to pour as the container is heavy

 

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Greenview lawn food

If you want your lawn to look lush and uniform like the beautiful golf course, Greenview lawn food will help to enrich and maintain your grass to achieve that lush, green color you desire. This lawn food will provide all the nutrients your lawn needs to thrive and flourish. This lawn food contains the GreenSmart ingredient that helps to promote root growth in your grass which will help to increase your plant’s water and nutrient absorption. By providing both the readily available and controlled release nutrients your lawn needs will help to improve the vitality of your grass. This fertilizer will help your lawn be better prepared to handle the stresses of drought and heat and still maintain its green color for longer and even green up quicker after a dry spell. This fertilizer will provide your lawn grass with a consistent green color and even turf growth throughout the season.

 

Pros

  • Provides your grass with the nutrients it needs to grow
  • Helps to increase your plant’s water and nutrient absorption
  • Strengthens the roots
  • Make your grass thick and full

Cons

  • Might not give you the results you’re looking for

 

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Jobe’s organics flower & rose granular fertilizer

This granular fertilizer is specially formulated to provide your flower and rose bushes the nutrients they need to grow healthy green foliage and more flower petals. With the help of Biozome, your flowers will have the nutrients they need to produce abundant beautiful flowers. This organic granular fertilizer has an NPK ratio of 3-5-3 that will produce beautiful flowers from your rose bushes when applied at planting and after every six weeks. This rose fertilizer will help to improve the long-term soil quality of your garden and helps to increase root mass which will help your plants be more resistant to drought, diseases, and insects during the growing season. This fertilizer will last longer than liquid fertilizer and will get absorbed by the roots instead of the leaves like a liquid fertilizer. It’s safe to use around your kids and pets.

 

Pros

  • Very effective fertilizer
  • Provides fast improvement
  • Very easy to mix
  • Boosts your plant’s health and vitality

Cons

  • Not very good to use around animals

 

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Osmocote smart release plant food

This is an excellent fertilizer for your vegetable garden that you can apply on both your annuals and perennials and other garden veggies season after season. This fertilizer can provide all the food your plants need for up to 4 months and you only need to use a small amount to achieve visible results. This plant food is formulated with your veggie plants in mind and will help to promote strong root development and vigorous top growth in your plants so that your veggies will be more flavorful all season round. This fertilizer has a high NPK nutrient content of 14-14-14, but since the pellets are coated with a unique resin polymer compound, the nutrients are released slowly at first then more quickly during the growing season.

 

Pros

  • Promotes rapid growth
  • Foliage stays green
  • Very easy to use the container
  • Doesn’t burn your plants

Cons

  • Its NPK ratio might be too much for some plants

 

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Milorganite organic nitrogen fertilizer

This organic nitrogen fertilizer is a slow release of organic nitrogen fertilizer that is well trusted by gardeners and has been used for years with great results. It has been formulated using microbes from Milwaukee’s water reclamation process. This is an excellent and effective time release fertilizer. It’s enriched with 4% iron that your plants need to green up. The recycled microbes in this fertilizer make it very effective in providing what your plants need to grow and flourish. This slow release fertilizer will provide the nutrients your plants need over a long duration giving your plants time to properly absorb the nutrients they need at different stages of their growth cycle. It’s also a non-burning fertilizer so you don’t have to worry about burning your plants after application.

Pros

  • Won’t burn your plants
  • Very easy to use
  • It works for a longer period
  • Greens up your plants and boosts growth

Cons

  • It can have an odor
  • Has a low concentration so you need to use a lot

 

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Jacks classic blossom booster fertilizer

This all-purpose fertilizer is a water-soluble plant food that is a top-rated mineral fertilizer that you can use on many indoor and outdoor plants including perennials, roses, foliage plants, shrubs, evergreens, and bulbs making it an excellent all-purpose plant food to have around your home. If you apply it to your plants as instructed, it won’t burn your plants and the measuring spoon included will help you with making easy and precise measurements. This fertilizer has an NPK ratio of 20-20-20 and since it releases its nutrients gradually, it can provide all the nutrients your plants need to grow for 4 months to support vigorous plant growth. You can apply this plant food to both the leaves and roots.

Pros

  • Your plants stay healthy throughout
  • Has enough nutrients for your plants and veggies
  • Your flowers blossom well

Cons

  • Can burn your plants

 

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Epsoma organic plant-tone all-purpose plant food

This is an all-natural all-purpose fertilizer that has a biotome formula that will boost your plants and flowers’ growth and bloom. You can use this fertilizer on a variety of applications including veggie trees, flowers, and shrubs. This popular organic fertilizer has an NPK ratio of 5-3-3 ad being a slow release fertilizer, it will provide nutrients to your plants throughout their growing season. This all-purpose plant food has a premium blend of feather meal, alfalfa meal, bone meal, and poultry manure with enhanced beneficial microbes that help to boost healthy plant growth. It’s very easy to use, just mix it directly into the soil as you plant, but don’t be alarmed if it attracts flies and other pests because of its natural ingredients.

Pros

  • Works well on annuals and perennial plants
  • Your plants have better color, growth, and stronger stems
  • Very easy to mix into the soil
  • Your plants grow more leaves with a deep green color

Cons

  • Its strong odor can attract dogs

 

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Bioadvanced tree & shrub protect and feed

This is a slow release plant food and fertilizer that you can use to improve the health of your trees and shrubs by taking care of your plant’s annual nutritional needs. With just one application it will provide 12-month protection against insects like webworms, Japanese beetles, leaf miners, emerald ash borers, caterpillars, adelgids, and more. It has systemic rainproof protection so you don’t need to worry about it being washed away by rain after application. It gets absorbed by the plant’s roots and travels up internally which helps to protect your trees and shrubs even to the tip of their leaves. This is a liquid fertilizer that you simply mix with water in the correct proportions and pour at the base of your plants which then works its way to the roots. To ensure you achieve the best results before application, pull back on mulching.

Pros

  • Stops the spread of insects and other pests
  • Only need one application per year
  • It’s cost-effective
  • The roots become stronger and the leaves become greener

Cons

  • Can take a while to see the results

 

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Global harvest organics all-purpose fertilizer

This is an all-purpose pelleted fertilizer that you can use for your veggies, flowers, shrubs, and trees. You can use it around your pets and it’s eco-friendly. It contains over 67 trace minerals that are very beneficial to both plants that will help to strengthen your plants against infectious diseases, increase their resistance to insects, and promote healthy growth. This fertilizer is formulated from nutrient-dense rock dust and poultry litter that has a slight odor. The organic nature of this fertilizer makes it safe for both humans and pets without the strong odor that is common with these types of products. It comes with a resealable bag that is easy to handle and store to ensure the fertilizer stays dry and in good condition.

Pros

  • Its nutrient value is perfect for potted plants
  • The resealable bag keeps the fertilizer dry
  • Contains lots of nutrients your plants need
  • Very easy to use

Cons

  • It gives out a slight odor

 

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Using slow release fertilizers

You can use slow release fertilizers in all types of plants, annuals, perennials, turf grasses, trees, and shrubs. These fertilizers have the same type of NPK ratings as immediate release fertilizers like 10-10-10 or 4-2-2. However, the type of slow release fertilizer you decide to use in your lawn or garden can be based on the brand you trust, but you should also consider what plants the fertilizer you select is intended for. Slow release fertilizers for different grass types contain more nitrogen and are mostly contain herbicides for most of the common lawn weeds, so you shouldn’t use this on your flowers since flowers need more phosphorous.

Fertilizers labeled time or slow release will provide nutrients to your plants in a more natural manner with the consideration of how it interacts with the natural organisms in the soil. However, controlled or coated slow release fertilizers are a bit different because they release the nutrients in a more controlled and specific manner regardless of the soil composition.

Are slow release fertilizers preferable to natural, organic fertilizers?

Slow release fertilizers are more concentrated and more predictable than the natural, organic slow release fertilizers, and they’re easier to use and less expensive in the long run. You also don’t have to guess the temperature and composition of the soil before applying. However, it’s advisable to test your soil before applying any organic or chemical fertilizers. As a gardener, you’re more confident using the time release fertilizers because their formula and efficacy have already been thoroughly tested and proven. Also, you can rely on the instructions provided on the packaging that are well detailed and precise.

Conclusion

Picking the right kind of fertilizer for your lawn or plants comes down to your garden or soil composition and requirements. A slow release fertilizer will ensure that you don’t need to apply it often which saves you time and money in the long run.

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