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Does Lawn Fertilizer Go Bad

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What Are The Benefits Of Putting Fertilizer On My Lawn

Which Lawn and Garden Fertilizers Go Bad When And Why

If youre into tag football, family gatherings, and anything involving bare feet, youll definitely want to get in the habit of properly fertilizing your lawn. Thats how you get lush grass blades that can take a beating from heat, sun, and all the foot traffic you can throw at it, and still look like a glorious green carpet. And you know those weeds you hate? Theyll stand much less of a chance in a lawn that is well-fed.

Store The Fertilizer In A Safe Space

The best place to store fertilizer is in a dry location away from sunlight and exposure to extreme temperature swings.

A temperature and humidity-controlled garage, greenhouse, basement, or shed is best. Avoid leaving fertilizer in storage bins outdoors or sheds with no protection from heat, cold, or pests.

  • Liquid fertilizer can freeze, which can alter its effectiveness once it thaws back out.
  • Keep the fertilizer well-marked and out of reach of pets or kids.
  • Do not store the fertilizer near paints, chemicals, or pesticides.

When To Use Fertilizer For Best Results

Knowing what time of day and how often to fertilize your lawn is one of those age-old questions that most people dont agree on. My simple rule for this has never let me down. If the forecast calls for a scorcher, then I would fertilize in the afternoon. If its going to be a cool day, I opt for the morning.

Another thing to keep in mind is the amount of sun expected on fertilizing day. Just like with people, your lawn can burn in direct sun. Its best to put off fertilizing until you see clouds in the forecast.

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Is It Ok To Use Old Fertilizer Past Its Expiry

If the fertilizer you found has an expiry date, youre using it at your own risk if you use it past the date. Using a fertilizer that has passed its expiry date puts you at risk of releasing too much or too little of the nutrients you want for your plants or lawn. Using old fertilizer can end up causing more harm than good, so youre better off safely disposing of any expired fertilizer you come across.

If youre not sure how to safely get rid of your old fertilizer, keep reading to find out how.

How Do I Choose The Right Fertilizer For My Grass Type

Does Lawn Fertilizer Go Bad?

First, determine whether you live in the northern or southern half of the country. Thats important because the cool-season grasses that grow in the North benefit from a different type of fertilizer than the warm-season grasses found in the South. Next, youll need to determine if you have other needs, like insect or weed control, because many Scotts® products address multiple issues at once. And finally, choosing the right fertilizer depends upon the time of year you are applying it, as grass has different needs during each season. Visit How to Choose Lawn Products and Spreaders for more info and specific lawn food recommendations.

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What To Know About Fertilizer Applications

In the market today, fertilizer comes in either a liquid or solid-state. Neither one is safer than the other. It is imperative that whoever is applying the product handles it with care and follows all safety precautions on the label. The difference being addressed here is the average length of time each form needs to set into the lawn.

Liquid Fertilizer: Most liquid fertilizers on the market will tell you to wait until the product has dried to interact with it. Several variables could affect when a liquid fertilizer dries, including the temperature and cloud conditions. So, as a rule of thumb, we recommend waiting at least two hours. After those two hours, take a moment to evaluate your lawn before letting your dog out. If it is still wet, wait a little longer. If it is dry, you have met the safety precaution found on most product labels.

Dry Fertilizer: This is the choice fertilizer application used when it comes to the treatment of residential homes. This lawn care product is applied by spreading small pellets manually or with a spreader tool. Outside of its physical properties, one of the biggest differences between it and liquid fertilizer is that it needs to be watered into the lawn.

How Long Do I Need To Keep Kids And Pets Off The Lawn After Fertilizing

A good rule of thumb here is to allow 24 hours after rainfall or irrigation has watered in the fertilizer before letting kids or pets play on the lawn. So, for example, if you fertilize on Thursday and water or have rain on Friday, then on Saturday, you can let everyone release all of their pent-up energy out in the yard.

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Does Fertilizer Go Bad And How To Store The Leftover Properly

Normally no. Usually, fertilizer does not go because the ingredients of any fertilizer does not change over time. Then, of course, it depends on how you store it and for how long.

So, there is no short answer to does fertilizer go bad or not. You need to see the full picture before you apply the fertilizer for your new grass.

We apply lawn feed to our lawns and garden to give an extra boost of growth to the roots. Eventually, we get a lush greenery lawn in a short time. It wont happen if you apply the date expired fertilizer.

Does Organic Fertilizer Go Bad Faster Than Synthetic

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While organic fertilizer may be better for the environment, it doesnt have the longevity of synthetic fertilizers. Manufacturers of synthetic fertilizers use refined materials with a longer shelf-life, producing them in bulk. Bulk production is cost-effective, and those lower costs lead to savings for the consumer.

Organic fertilizers consist of animal matter or bi-products, manure, and vegetables. Since manufacturers of organic fertilizer cant mass-produce their products like synthetic fertilizer manufacturers, the cost of organic fertilizer is higher.

Liquid chemical fertilizers can last up to ten years, whereas liquid organic fertilizer has a shelf-life of 5-8 years. If youre looking at microbial inoculants, the lifespan is even shorter, lasting two years.

While the lifespan of organic fertilizer may be shorter, gardeners use it because they know that it improves the soil, not just the plants in the garden for the season.

Compost, the most organic fertilizer, doesnt go bad. Your compost may lose nutrients after four months, but the loss isnt enough for a significant impact on your garden. If your compost is one or two years old, youll notice considerable shrinkage. The shrinkage is due to the compost continuing to break down. It isnt a sign that the compost has gone bad, but it is a sign to use up that compost quickly!

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What Should You Use

Thats a tough question, isnt it? Most people think theres one type of fertilizer and thats what we should all use. Well, its not exactly that way. Most bags of fertilizer will have three letters on it and a number next to each one: N, P, P Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium. Simply put, the first is for healthy growth, the second for roots and stems, and the third one makes your garden resistant to drought and disease.

For a strong, green lawn, youd want a high nitrogen concentration in your fertilizer but not so much that the other two components are overlooked.

;How should you do it?

There are two ways you can go at it: liquid or granular fertilizer. Each one is good for something and bad for something else. Lets see each one:

Liquid fertilizer: It acts faster, cheaper, and easier to use. Itd be perfect if it wasnt for its unique drawback if you use too much of it, you might end up burning your soil. You also need to apply it more times than granular which might make it possible youll use too much without knowing.

Granular fertilizer: It needs to be used fewer times and its safer than its liquid counterpart. On the other hand, it takes a little bit longer to act and its a little bit more expensive. Regardless of its drawbacks, its the go-to choice for most homeowners.

;Is there such a thing as too much fertilizer?

;This seems like too much work, is there an alternative?

Enough about fertilizer, what else am I missing?

What Is In Synthetic Granular Fertilizer

Almost all fertilizers contain three things: nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. The producers of synthetic fertilizers create these nutrients artificially in a lab. Because they are artificial, they can easily be made into a fast release fertilizer.

These products also tend to have a high nitrogen content because nitrogen is a component of chlorophyll. You may remember chlorophyll from your school science class as the stuff that makes plants green.

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Does Fertilizer Go Bad If It Gets Wet

Regardless of whether it is dry or liquid fertilizer, it should not get mixed with anything else when it is still in storage. When fertilizer comes into contact with moisture, whether it is from rain or humidity, the components begin degrading. In other words, fertilizer that gets wet is no longer effective.

How Do You Properly Store Liquid Fertilizer

Does Lawn Fertilizer Go Bad? (4 Tips for Storing)

The quality and potency of your liquid fertilizer will determine its effectiveness and how your plants react to it. This is why learning how to store your liquid fertilizer properly is the key to maintaining its nutrients and growing beautiful plants in your garden.

Without good fertilizer, your soil would eventually be depleted of its nutrients, and your once-thriving plants will wither away. After all, you chose this type of fertilizer for your container gardening because its the best way to deliver and control the number of nutrients you are supplying to your plants.

If you want to store your liquid fertilizer correctly, keep these essential tips in mind:

  • Find a good spot inside where the environment can be controlled.;This is going to protect your fertilizer from exposure to UV rays and eliminate the risk of freezing. These outdoor elements will weaken the product, and it will not work as its intended as the potency will be weakened. The best places to store your fertilizer is inside your home or in a well-insulated garage, but where you live often plays a vital role in where you end up storing it.
  • Be sure that you are maintaining a temperature between 50 80 degrees Fahrenheit.;Keeping the fertilizer at a consistent temperature is best. Fluctuations of temperature can cause some mineral buildup; while this is not bad, it can affect the potency of the fertilizer to some small degree.
  • Read Also: How To Test Lawn Soil Ph Level

    How To Use Fertilizer And Weed Killer In Spring And Fall

    Fall and spring are busy times for lawn care: its when you apply fertilizer, weed-control products and spread mulch.

    But before you do any of that, I like to make sure your lawn is green and lushwhich means keeping an eye on it during the growing season.;

    • Warm-season vegetation has optimal growth during spring.

    You should begin fertilizing your lawn in the spring and continue the second round in the fall after summer peak. Most grasses grow slowly until temperatures warm in the spring but will then grow rapidly.;

    Actually, the general thumb of rule is that late spring is one of the best times of year to apply fertilizer to your lawn. The season when plants shift their focus from root development to start growing marks a natural transition to their annual growth cycle, and, as such, is an ideal time to apply fertilizer.;

    Many homeowners believe that fall is the best time to fertilize, but this is actually not the case.

    We expect weeds to be vulnerable during fall and so, a good time to kill off weeds and other pests that have found your lawn to be an ideal home, and to spike the lawns growth for the winter.

    • In cooler climates, fall fertilizing is beneficial for helping grasses through the winter. Before grasses go dormant during peak season, apply fertilizer heavily in fall and lightly in early spring.

    One of the main things to look for when buying fertilizer is the percentage of nitrogen, the first number on a fertilizer package.;

    Different Types Of Fertilizers And Their Expiry

    The makeup of different types of fertilizers plays a role in determining whether it can be used for multiple seasons, and how long it will stay viable. Lets take a look at how the different varieties compare according to their shelf life:

    Fertilizer variety
    Herbicides included in the composition shorten its shelf life to four years Varies from brand to brand, will be mentioned on the package. For as long as ten years, shake the bottle before use since minerals settle at the bottom.

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    Liquid And Granular Fertilizers Used In Tandem

    If you apply granular fertilizer you need a rain to happen not just be in the forecast.

    So many homeowners apply granular fertilizers in anticipation of a rain event and then when that rain doesnt materialize or is very light, they forget to water the fertilizer in.; This leaves the granules in the grass just sitting there.; This can be harmful to small children, pets, and animals that may accidentally consume the fertilizer.

    I recommend using a 50% application of granular fertilizer.; Use half the recommended amount to spread on your turf lawn.; Then apply a 50% reduced recommended amount via a liquid fertilizer.

    If you arent doing a soil test which is 95% of households across the country, consider a broad spectrum fertilizer is recommended.

    Many liquid fertilizers are a broad spectrum and so by doing a 50-50 split between granular and liquid you are ensuring that your grass is receiving all the macro and micro nutrients it needs to grow well and maintain that bright green color that you are seeking

    How Long Does Liquid Fertilizer Last

    Lawn Fix Why the lawn looks bad and WHERE to START

    There is no shortage of challenges facing new homeowners. From their first experience with homeowners insurance to the question of whether or not to purchase a home warranty and everything in between, it can feel overwhelming.

    Its always best to turn to professionals for help. As a lawn care expert, its no surprise that I receive my fair share of questions about how to grow and maintain a lush, green lawn.

    How do I not kill my lawn?

    Help! My house is sitting on a dirt lot, and I need grass, STAT.

    What on earth are those weird piles of mud dotting my lawn in southern Louisiana?

    Ive heard it all.

    One scenario has popped up over and over among new homeowners, however.

    What do I do with all the old liquid fertilizer I found in my new garden shed? Is it still good? Does liquid fertilizer even go bad? What about organic liquid fertilizer?

    Today Im breaking down everything you need to know about the shelf life of liquid fertilizer and the truth about whether liquid plant food actually does expire.

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    What Do The Letters Npk On The Fertilizer Bag Mean

    Those letters stand for the nutrients nitrogen , phosphorus , and potassium . The numbers you see on the bag let you know the percentage of the N, P, and K thats in the bag. Heres why it matters: Nitrogen greens up your grass and helps it grow, phosphorus stimulates root growth and helps seeds sprout, and potassium helps your lawn withstand drought and disease. The highest number for lawn fertilizers will usually be the Nafter all, growing green grass is the ultimate goal, right?

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    If stored in proper conditions, the full viability of bagged grass seed should remain the same for one year after the tested date found on its packaging. For each year that passes beyond the first year, the germination rate of the grass seed will decline by 10 to 20 percent; the speed at which the grass seed deteriorates will be sped up by improper storage conditions, reducing the grass seeds viability and lifespan.

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    How To Determine If A Liquid Fertilizer Has Gone Bad

    Liquid fertilizer that relies on organic ingredients will go bad rather quickly because it doesnt have stabilizing chemicals to prevent degradation. In addition, once you open the original packaging, you wont be able to control the degradation process.

    Liquid fertilizer can be affected by microbes such as bacteria, fungi, and mold. The shape of the bottle might change due to the gasses that mold produces. Over time, the liquid will slowly start changing its thickness and will produce a nasty smell.

    Unlike some other fertilizers, expired liquid substances can be very harmful to plants.

    What Happens When Fertilizer Goes Bad Or Expires

    Does Liquid or Granular Lawn Fertilizer Go Bad? » Turf ...

    Before we dive any deeper into this topic, lets clarify one crucial point. What does it mean someone says that their fertilizer has gone bad or expired? Does it mean that the fertilizer has become dangerous, damaging, or even poisonous to plant life?

    Absolutely not! Going bad or expiring for fertilizers doesnt mean the same thing as when we eat expired food.

    Instead, it means maximising that bad or expired fertilizer wont be as effective when used on your lawn or plants. Thats because the fertilizers contents have degraded to such a point that theyre not capable of offering any benefit to the plants.

    So, dont worry too much about accidentally using bad or expired fertilizer. Youre not doing anything to hurt your plants!

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