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Fertilizer Brands

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by Catcher, Apr 5, 2001.

  1. Catcher

    Catcher LawnSite Member
    Messages: 166

    With the purchase of a decent mower, I'd like to have it sink it's 'teeth' into some decent grass as well. I am in the process of having a soil-sample processed to optimize the turf for the season. My question is, is there really a big difference between fertilizer brands? Homeowners don't have access to commercial brands as readily as you guys - so keeping it with the commonly known (unless you have some advice on better stuff) like Scotts, Farm Bureaus Lawn Science and the likes. Does it make a difference or do they just 'package the same stuff in different bags', roughly speaking.
    Any advise on fertilizing/ treating the lawn for a healthy appearance through the season would be apreciated.
  2. BIG D

    BIG D LawnSite Member
    Messages: 42

    Yes, There is a difference in fertilizers. Basically, the homeowner brands use more filler. This is so the homeowner has less of a chance to "burn" the lawn. As far as a recommendation on type of fertilizer to buy I would say it would depend on the type of grass and weather in your area. What weeds and insects are in your area, etc. Maybe give another post with some info.
    Big D
  3. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,411

    The homeowner blends also have a low slow release content, so you get that three-day nitrogen bloom that scotts so heavily advertises. Fine if you like mowing your lawn twice a week.
  4. Skookum

    Skookum LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 675

    For a Homeowner - Stick with Scott's! It might seem expensive, but it is by far the best you can get off the shelf.

    I know several homeowners that have used Scott's brand 4 step program for years and they have the best looking lawns around.
  5. Kansas Turf Man

    Kansas Turf Man LawnSite Member
    Messages: 47

    Go to a local nursery. They will often carry what works best with the soils in your particular area. Ask them what works best and ask why it works for them. If the price is OK they buy it from them. If not go to another store even Wal-Mart and find what meets their description the closest. That may get you somewhere

    Good Luck
  6. smithsonmi

    smithsonmi LawnSite Member
    Messages: 75

    Try your local agricultral supply.

    Great prices on tried and true products.
  7. Catcher

    Catcher LawnSite Member
    Messages: 166

    Thanks everyone,
    Big D.,
    the climate here in Michigan is usually hot with very high humidity throughout the summer. The lawn is mostly made up uf Kentucky blue and some Rye. Half of the lawn is shaded pretty well the other half is exposed to full sun. The soil offers good drainage being mostly sand with some clay patches. I have a soil-test underway also. I also think there's every weed possible is represented here, chickweed and broadleaves with the apropriate army of cinchbugs, grubs and some other critters. (sorry, not too educated about all the bugs, I'll work on it though)
    not sure what you mean by 3day bloom. Are you associating the slow release with a weeks long of growth and then - nothing? BTW, had to mow the weeds twice a week last year without fertilizing.
    Scotts being the most advertised brand, it was on top of my list; However - the local Farm Bureau has a similar 4-step program with a less touted product, hence the question if there may be the same product in different bags.
    Kansas Man,
    Good advise, but the nurserys in Michigan tend to push whatever brand they happen to have on the shelf.
    I guess I'll wait for the soil-test to get back and replenish/ adjust whatever imbalance they may discover and haul some fertilizer home, most likely the Farm Bureau brand .....

  8. Skookum

    Skookum LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 675


    I am very aware of same product in a different bag theory. I worked for a large bakery years ago where the so called generic bread was exactly the same premium bread for 1/4 the price. It was just changed over on the bagger as it ran on the line.

    But, I truely do doubt that you would find the same qaulity or the same product in a local farm center bag as a Scott's bag. I am one of the first to say Price is not always a indicator of a better product. But, on this topic, Scott's is well worth the extra money. It is a tried a true product that was made for the homeowner. I have a few residential accounts that I use Scott's 4 step program.

    Now, I do understand from a few posts here and in a few trade mags that Scott's has sold it's line to, I think, the Anderson's. So maybe things will change. But, for years Scott's has always had a unsurpassed quality product. A good example is their grass seed line. It costs more, but very few if any weed seeds in the mix.

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