Alphalfa Pellets, Scotts turf Builder, or 10-10-10


LawnSite Member
What would be the best fertilizer for the money for me. My lawn has come a long way in the last year from mowing high and often using just some 10-10-10 from Wal-Mart. Now I am wondering what I should do for the lawn. I have mostly sand soil, but the topsoil that was brought in had some clay in it. I put in a sprinkler system, so I can water when ever I need it. Not too much crab grass or dandelions, but I have some clover that I would like to get rid of. My weeding has been mostly pulling them out, but am open to other ways. I have 1 1/2 acres that I water. I also cut another 2 acres, but I'm not gonna touch that til I get the first section under control
Thanks in Advance, this site is wonderful!

Josey Wales

LawnSite Member
Tulsa Oklahoma

Very generally speaking, if you've been using a 10-10-10 fert regularly for some time now and not knowing what your true soil needs are from a soil test, a good rule of thumb is this:

Phosphorous and potassium, the last two 10’s in your 10-10-10 fert are the nutrients that are used up much more slowly than nitrogen, the first 10 in the 10-10-10 label. Think of it this way, nitrogen is like gasoline for your engine where phosphorous and potassium are like oil for the engine. Oil is critical but you don’t have to add oil as often as gasoline. So.....

If you want more bang for the buck, I usually find a 33-0-0 fert and use it for all of my fert apps when the turf is actively growing. I apply a more complete fert at the beginning and the end of the growing season such as 24-8-16 or something similar with about a 3-1-2 ratio. During the growing season it’s generally a waste to spend the extra $$$ on the other nutrients unless a soil test absolutely warrants it.

Many of the soil tests done here in the Tulsa area show enough P and K in the soil to last hundreds of years or more due to the overuse of ferts like 10-10-10 or 10-20-10. But you can bet that nitrogen will always be needed as the turf “engine” burns it up very quickly. :)

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