We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

How do I Choose the Best Slow Release Fertilizer?

By Anna B. Smith
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At HomeQuestionsAnswered, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

To choose the best slow release fertilizer, gardeners may wish to use a blended formula that contains 30% to 50% non-soluble nitrogen. A blended mixture uses both slow release and standard soluble plant food pellets together in one bag, which may be applied to flower beds or the lawn simultaneously. This type of product will feed young plants immediately, providing them with the nutrient boost they need following initial planting, and will continue to feed them slowly for the duration of the growing season.

A plant's root system can only absorb a certain amount of food following being watered and fed. Standard manufactured granual fertilizers contain large doses of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium which are activated when water is applied to the surrounding soil. Many times, the plants are unable to absorb all of the nutrients found in these products at once, and they are merely leached away into the soil. A slow release fertilizer breaks down over time instead of releasing immediately, encouraging the gradual uptake of minerals and vitamins into the plant's root structure.

A blended fertilizer will feed the garden both initially and throughout the growing season. A slow release fertilizer contains a certain percentage of non-soluble nutrients, which means they are not easily absorbed in water. These food pellets are typically broken down by microbe activity in the soil, or by diffusion through a manufactured pellet coating. This type of plant food will not provide initial nutrients to young plants as it requires a certain amount of time before pellet degradation begins. Blended fertilizers combine both non-soluble and soluble nutrients together in one product so that plants have the benefit of receiving immediate nutrition upon first application of the product, and sustained food throughout the growing season.

The amount of slow release nitrogen contained in the blended fertilizer should be between 30% and 50% for optimum growing results. The product must contain at least 15% of its nitrogen in a non-soluble form to be considered a slow releasing formula at all. The three numbers located on the outside of the bag indicate how much nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium are present within the mixture respectively. Beneath this ratio on a bag of slow release fertilizer is an additional statement which indicates how much of the enclosed nitrogen is available as a slow release product. This number should be divided by the total percentage of nitrogen contained in the bag, and then multiplied by 100 to obtain an accurate measurement.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

HomeQuestionsAnswered, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.