top of page

Different Types of Granule Fertilizers: A Simple Guide

Updated: Jun 18

Granule fertilizers are like plant food that you sprinkle on the soil. They come in different types, each with its own special features. Here's a simple guide to understanding the different kinds of granule fertilizers and how they can help your garden grow. Understanding these different types of granule fertilizers can help you make the best choice for you and your garden, keeping your plants happy and healthy. Happy growing!

Slow-Release Granule Fertilizers


What They Are: These fertilizers release nutrients slowly over time, so you don't have to reapply them too often. Why They're Cool: Great for lawns, trees, and shrubs. Did You Know? Some slow-releases use special coatings that dissolve slowly, giving plants a steady supply of nutrients.

  • They feed your plants for a longer period of time.

  • They aid in preventing high nutrient runoff.

Controlled-Release Granule Fertilizers

ACRONYM: CRF What They Are: Similar to slow-release, but these fertilizers are even more precise in how they release nutrients. Why They're Cool: Today they are known to be great for high-value crops (citrus, fruit trees, tomatoes, etc.) and potted plants due to the manufacturing process. Did You Know? Controlled-release fertilizers often have a polymer coating that is able to adjust nutrient release based on the soil’s temperature and moisture – many times referred to as osmosis.

  • They can be tailored to meet the specific needs of different plants.

  • They help reduce fertilizer waste and are built to be very efficient in releasing nutrients.

Water-Soluble Granule Fertilizers

ACRONYM: WSF (as I like to call them) What They Are: These dissolve quickly in water and give plants an instant nutrient boost. Why They're Cool: Great For: Vegetable gardens, flowers, and hydroponic systems. Did You Know? Water-soluble fertilizers are perfect for fertigation, which means you can feed your plants through irrigation systems.

  • They act fast, which is great if your plants need a quick pick-me-up.

  • You can easily mix and use them with your watering routine.

Organic Granule Fertilizers

What They Are: Made from natural materials like compost, bone meal, or fish meal, these fertilizers release nutrients as they break down. They break down slowly, so in a sense they are along the lines of a slow release; but not exactly that. Why They're Cool: Great For: All types of plants, especially in organic gardening. Did You Know? Organic fertilizers not only feed your plants but also support beneficial soil microbes.

  • They improve soil health and structure.

  • They’re generally from natural sources.

Synthetic Granule Fertilizers

What They Are: Still good, these are man-made fertilizers with specific nutrient ratios to help plants grow. Why They're Cool: Great For: Lawns, home gardens, and farms. Did You Know? Synthetic fertilizers can be a quick and reliable way to give your plants exactly what they need.

  • They’re precisely formulated for different types of plants' needs.

  • They often include extra nutrients for a balanced diet – macro and micro nutrients.

Microbial Inoculant Granule Fertilizers

What They Are: These granules contain beneficial microbes that help plants absorb nutrients better. Why They're Cool: They improve soil health naturally and they help plants grow strong and healthy.

Great For: Sustainable and eco-friendly gardening.

Did You Know? Microbial inoculants can enhance a soil’s natural ability to support plant growth by adding beneficial bacteria and fungi.

How to Choose the Right Granule Fertilizer

When picking granule fertilizer, think about what your plants need and what you want to achieve. If you like organic gardening, go for organic granules. If you want something precise and efficient, try controlled-release fertilizers (CRFs).



bottom of page