Why isn't my Lawn Fertiliser Dissolving?

Why isn't my Lawn Fertiliser Dissolving?

There are several issues here that will prevent granular fertiliser from dissolving into the lawn.

The type of fertiliser:

Some fertiliser is slow or controlled release which means it is designed to dissolve over weeks or months to trickle feed the grass in your lawn such as Lawnsmith Natur or Lawnsmith Autumn Fertilisers.

Similarly, coated fertiliser works in the same way so that nutrients aren’t released immediately such as Lawnsmith Extra-Long.

This doesn’t mean to say that controlled or slow release fertiliser doesn’t dissolve. Some do such as Lawns Spring & Summer for Clay or Sandy Soil. This takes perhaps 10 days to dissolve in good moisture conditions.

Moisture:

Without it your fertiliser won’t dissolve into the soil and will start to stress or burn the grass

The temperature:

Some more technical fertilisers are temperature sensitive and increase their discharge of feed as the lawn and grass warms up.

Not everything in a Bag of Fertiliser is Slow to Dissolve!

A bag of fertiliser will contain various elements, the main ones being nitrogen, phosphate and potassium. In most fertilisers only the nitrogen is slow release as this is the element that creates most of the growth and is also the most mobile and susceptible to leaching from the soil. This means you could just have a little of your feed that stays around for a while. Sometimes it's a good thing.

What will I see if my Fertiliser doesn’t Dissolve?

You won’t see an awful lot after a week or so unless you get down on to hands and knees. Most components will have dissolved leaving those insoluble ones behind to do their work slowly. They will be tucked down into the turf, safe for most pets, children and wildlife. 

What about Mower Pick-up of the Fertiliser?

Once the fertiliser has settled into the grass it will become sticky with soil moisture and won’t get sucked up. If in doubt leave the box off the mower (if the instructions allow) for the first mow after feeding.

How does this Compare to Applying After-cut Once a Week?

Well, like everything else you get what you pay for. Slow or controlled release performs better, performs for longer and are generally safer. So, the initial cost is greater but over say 3 months it is feeding the grass every day for 13 weeks or 13 applications of an after-cut product. Saves time as well!

As well as these factors consider what other goodies are in the bag. Many Lawnsmith feeds contain magnesium, calcium, seaweed and sulfur contributing to a balanced diet and a healthier lawn.