Organic Fertilizer - FAQs
Q. How is it applied?
A. As a granular with a broadcast spreader.
Q. How does your organic fertilizer compare to other fertilizers?
A. Most companies use fertilizers that are comprised of water-soluble nitrogen. This is quickly available to the plant and released into the lawn. These fertilizers will quickly green up the lawn, but they will not help it stay green without frequent applications. It is almost like giving the lawn a shot of steroids. Our nitrogen is water insoluble. This means it is slow release and only releases nitrogen as beneficial microbes in the soil break it down; the lawn stays green for a longer period of time, which is better for the lawn. Organic fertilizers also stimulate microbial activity which is beneficial in preventing fungus invasions and decomposing thatch. Our fertilizers contain .5% humate which helps to reduce water requirements and to naturally release unavailable nutrients from the soils through chelation which makes nutrients available to the plant for uptake. The fourth major difference is that synthetic fertilizers are derived from petroleum products, which are non-renewable resources and our organic products are derived from renewable plant based resources.
Q. How does your fertilizer compared to Richlawn’s fertilizer?
A. 82% of the nitrogen in Richlawn’s fertilizer is derived from ammonium nitrate, which is an inorganic source of nitrogen. Technically under Colorado Law, Richlawn’s fertilizer is not an organic or an organic based fertilizer, but is considered synthetic. Our products, however, qualify as natural organic.
Q. How does your fertilizer compare to Ringer’s Lawn Restore Fertilizer?
A. One of the major sources of nitrogen in Ringer's Lawn Restore is sodium nitrate, a salt containing 26% sodium. We have high salt soils in Colorado, so sodium nitrate adds to the problem instead of addressing the high salt issue. We on the other hand have low salt products that help balance the soil’s pH.
Q. How is your fertilizer compared to Scott’s fertilizer?
A. Scott’s fertilizer is derived from urea, ammonium nitrate, and sodium nitrate, which are all synthetically derived nitrogen sources. On almost 90% of the lawns we have treated for Necrotic Ring Spot, the homeowner used either urea, ammonium nitrate, sodium nitrate or a combination of these nitrogen sources for fertilizer within the past 6 months. We believe there is a correlation between Necrotic Ring Spot and Scott’s because Scott’s is comprised of fast release nitrogen sources.
Q. How often do I need to fertilize?
A. Colorado State University recommends 4 application of a fertilizer at an application rate of .75 - 1 lb of nitrogen per application per year. So it depends on how many pounds of nitrogen are applied per application. To maintain a healthy and beautiful lawn we recommend 4-5 applications of slow release organic nitrogen. Exceptions may occur but this is the recommended rate.
Q. I have always heard that one should not fertilize in the summer?
A. This is true if you are using water-soluble nitrogen products like Scott’s, but our products are insoluble nitrogen sources which will not burn a lawn. In fact, we find that lawns do need fertilizer in the summer because of the increased stress involved with the excessive heat. We also apply fertilizers with more humate and yucca extract in the mix during the summer. Yucca and Humate aid in the lawn’s ability to fight heat and drought stress.
Q. What is a winterizer?
A. A winterizer is a fertilizer that slowly feeds the lawn over the winter, helps protect root structure, and allows the lawn to rejuvenate in the spring very fast.
Q. Why is a winterizer important?
A. The winterizer is the most important treatment of the year. Lawns that are not treated in the fall typically are 10 times more likely to acquire a disease, have 20% more weeds, and produce 10% less chlorophyll compared to lawns treated with a winterizer.
Q. The numbers on the fertilizer are 22-14-8; does that mean my nitrogen level is better than your 12-2-4?
A. No. These numbers have nothing to do with better or worse; instead they tell the ratio at which to apply the fertilizer. I.e. If you have a 22-14-8 bag and you want 1 lb of nitrogen/ 1000 sq ft then the application rate is 4.5 lbs/ 1000 sq ft—22* 4.5=99. For the 12-2-4 product you must apply it at 8.5 lbs= 12*8=96 or 1.02 lbs/ 1000 sq ft.
Q. I bought a bag at the store that said it is organic and its numbers are 15-10-5. Is it organic?
A. No; typically the highest number an organic can achieve is 12. You probably bought an organic based product, meaning an organic fertilizer with synthetic fertilizer mixed into the product.
Do-It-Yourself Application FAQ
Q. How many pounds are in one bag of Pax Terra Plus and how much area will it cover?
A. There are 50 pounds per bag and this will cover up to 6250 sq. ft.
Q. What is the application rate for Pax Terra Plus?
A. 8 lbs per 1000 sq. ft
Q. I have never applied a fertilizer before, do you have any recommendations?
A. Mark off 1000 sq ft of lawn. Apply 8 lbs of fertilizer to that area. Repeat the process until the entire lawn is covered.
Q. Will my Scott’s spreader work to apply the product?
A. Yes, but you need to calibrate the spreader first. While the spreader label will instruct you to set it by the type of product you are applying, it assumes a lower rate of application than Pax Terra Plus requires (usually 1-3 lbs per 1000 sq ft as opposed to the required 8 lbs). You will have to use a higher setting than the label recommends in order to achieve the proper application rate. If this sounds too confusing, you can follow the method described above (mark off each 1000 sqft area) or buy a more appropriate spreader.
Q. I would like to buy a spreader so I can apply this fertilizer myself. Do you recommend a brand of spreader?
A. An Earthway spreader is suitable for applying at the rates our products need.