Liquid vs. granular fertilisers

I often get asked whether it is possible to use liquid fertilisers instead of granular fertilisers in professional lawn care. The answer to this question is yes, but there are some important factors to consider before dumping your spreaders. In this article, we think about the possible benefits and drawbacks of liquid fertilisers.

Nutrient availability

Liquid fertilisers are an excellent choice when you need to provide instant nutrients to the lawn. Say, for example, there is an important event going on at the weekend and the customer would like you to give the lawn a quick colour boost that won’t cause too much growth; a liquid treatment is perfect for that. Unlike granular fertilisers, liquid fertilisers are applied with water so they can start to work straight away. The nutrients are also in solution already allowing faster uptake by the plant.

Some liquid products can even be applied as foliar treatments. This is where you apply the liquid with a low amount of water so that the product “sticks” on the leaf and does not run down to the soil. If the product is formulated right then some of the nutrients will move directly into the leaf, giving a very quick green up response. Seaweed liquids are excellent for use as foliar treatments.


Granular fertilisers are the best at providing nutrient longevity, a standard fast-release granular fertiliser will last 4-6 weeks whereas a standard liquid feed is likely to last only 1-2 weeks. Slow release liquids are available that provide 5-6 weeks longevity at the most, some coated granular products can last six months or longer!

If your treatment plan consists of 4-5 feeds per year then liquid feeds are not really an option for you as they will run out too quickly and the customer will be disappointed.

Specialty products

Liquid Iron 20L Jerry Can

Granular feeds do not always have the upper hand. There are some occasions when liquid fertilisers, or other speciality products, are very useful. The use of Iron (Fe) for moss control is one of these. A liquid application of iron is much easier to control, acts quicker and is less damaging to the soil in the long term. The granular form does have it’s advantages too however, that is a discussion for another day.

Wetting agents also benefit from a liquid application. These types of products need to be watered in evenly and if applied as a granular and left for the rain to activate they may produce a patchy effect on the lawn.

We can help…

GreenBest Ltd has been supplying professional lawn care businesses like yours for nearly 20 years. Our range of SmartLawn fertilisers is developed from experience to make choosing your fertiliser products easy. We are happy to offer advice on fertilisers if you need it and will try to help you understand what is best to apply and why. Just call us on 01963 364788.


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