Can You Dissolve Granular Fertilizer In Water? (2022)

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I’ve been using granular fertilizer for my container garden. I heard that liquid fertilizer can be fast-action and was curious if I could dissolve granular fertilizer in water and use that instead.

You can dissolve granular fertilizer in water though it will take about 24 hours or more to completely dissolve. You can use the solution as a liquid fertilizer for quickly providing essential nutrients to your container plants.

By making your own liquid fertilizer from granular fertilizer, you are getting the best of both worlds. You can have the cost-saving and long shelf-life of dry fertilizer, and create your own liquid fertilizer whenever you need it.

The process of creating liquid fertilizer from granular fertilizer is simple. I’ve written the details of how you can do the same for your plants as well.

If you want to avoid having to do this work you can just get yourself a good organic liquid fertilizer instead. Check out the best liquid fertilizer on Amazon.com.

(Video) Making Liquid Fertilizer From NPK Granular

How to Dissolve Granular Fertilizer in Water

Follow the steps laid out below to correctly dissolve granular fertilizer in water. Be sure to dilute the resulting liquid to avoid damaging your plants.

The only equipment needed is a bucket or other container, a measuring cup, and something to stir the mixture with.

Start by figuring out how many gallons of liquid fertilizer you need, so you can calculate how much granular fertilizer to dissolve. Using one cup of granular fertilizer will give you 8-16 gallons of diluted fertilizer for watering, or 1 gallon for foliar feeding.

Using 1 cup of granular fertilizer per gallon of water, soak for 24-48 hours. Stir the mixture occasionally to help the granules dissolve more quickly.

After soaking, there will still be some solids left in the bottom of your container that cannot dissolve. Strain these out and keep them to use later. They can be sprinkled in flower beds or used for plants that don’t need as much fertilization.

The resulting liquid is ready to use for foliar feeding at full strength, or it can be diluted 1 to 2 cups per gallon for watering.

Note: you may see water-soluble fertilizer when you are shopping for garden supplies. This product is meant to be dissolved in water and used immediately, so it does not need the same soaking time as granulated fertilizer. Follow instructions on the packaging if you have this kind of fertilizer.

(Video) Turning granular fertilizer into a liquid fertilizer for spray application!

Although it takes a bit more time than using liquid fertilizer straight from the bottle, there are significant advantages to dissolving granular fertilizer in water.

Granular Fertilizer vs. Liquid Fertilizer

Ultimately, most fertilizers contain identical ingredients: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. These are the three macronutrients used by plants, and they can be found in various configurations depending on what kind of plant you are growing and what result you want from the plant. For more details about fertilizer formulations, you may find this article useful.

Knowing that both liquid and granular fertilizers have the same components, the only difference is in how those components are conveyed to the plants.

Granular fertilizer is meant to release slowly into the soil, so the granules are made with a slow-dissolving coating. Liquid fertilizers already have the components dissolved, so they are ready for the plants to use immediately. (Source: Bonnie’s Plants)

For the purposes of this article, we are assuming a typical all-purpose 10-10-10 fertilizer that has equal parts of each component. If your granular fertilizer is stronger or has a higher percentage of any one macronutrient, you may want to experiment with diluting further to avoid damaging your plants.

Benefits of Granular Fertilizer

Granular fertilizer is incorporated into the soil or sprinkled around the base of the plant. For container gardening, it is usually best to work a granular fertilizer into the soil when you plant it in the container. The advantages of granular fertilizer are that it lasts for a long time, is easier to store, and is cheaper than liquid fertilizer.

Depending on the type, granular fertilizer can last from 1-9 months. Since the granules break down slowly, they release nutrients over time. The packaging should indicate how long it is intended to feed your plants, but note that the fertilizer will not last nearly as long if you dissolve it in water before using it.

Granular fertilizer, overall, has a long shelf-life. Its mineral components have no specific expiration date, but the fertilizer should be stored in a cool, dry location for the best results. If it absorbs too much humidity, it tends to clump, but still does not lose its potency.

Drawbacks of Granular Fertilizer

One disadvantage of granular fertilizer is that the application may not be as even as with liquid fertilizers. That is because each granule is likely to have more or less of certain nutrients. Especially in container gardening, it can be challenging to make sure the right balance of nutrients is available to each plant.

(Video) How To successfully dissolve fertilizer into tank

Granular fertilizer also limits the plant’s access to immobile nutrients such as phosphorus, even though it is a component in the fertilizer. This occurs because the plant can only absorb immobile nutrients if they are already dissolved in water.

A final disadvantage of granular fertilizer is that it can be easy to use too much, which can cause leaf burn (aka fertilizer burn) due to the high salt content. Estimating how much granular fertilizer to use is more difficult than with liquid fertilizer.

Benefits of Liquid Fertilizer

Liquid fertilizer, on the other hand, avoids all of the disadvantages listed above. By using your dry fertilizer to make liquid fertilizer, you can optimize the strengths of each type.

First, liquid fertilizer is easy to apply evenly. After diluting, liquid fertilizer will be delivered in equal parts since the components are distributed equally in the water. You can use liquid fertilizer in the soil when watering, or for foliar feeding.

Plants can use the nutrients immediately when provided in a liquid form. Unlike granular fertilizer, there is no need to wait for it to break down slowly. If your plants need an immediate boost, liquid fertilizer is definitely the preferred option.

Liquid fertilizer provides better nutrition to plants because they can access immobile nutrients readily. The nutrients are already dissolved in the liquid, which means they can be accessed directly by the plant when the liquid comes in contact with roots or leaves.

Drawbacks of Liquid Fertilizer

Liquid fertilizer is heavier and more difficult to store than granular fertilizer. It should not be allowed to freeze, since the components can separate when they thaw. There’s also a danger that it will expand enough to break the storage container, leading to loss of fertilizer.

Liquid fertilizer is more expensive. The initial purchase price of liquid fertilizer is higher than granular, and you will also need to apply it more often. If you have many plants to feed, prices can add up quickly.

(Video) MAKING NPK WATER SOLUBLE FERTILIZER AT HOME

Here are some of my favorite container gardening tools

Thank you for reading this post. I hope it helps you with your gardening needs. I’ve listed some tools below that can help you with container gardening. These are affiliate links so I’ll earn a commission if you use them.

Gardening Gloves – I find the Pine Tree Tools Bamboo Gardening Gloves really good for both men and women. It’s made from bamboo so helps absorb perspiration. They are also comfortable and fit very well.

Containers – You know picking the right container is crucial for your container gardening. I’ve written a detailed post on the best containers you can choose from. If you’re happy with a plastic container, you can check out the Bloem Saturn Planter.

Watering Can – This is a must-have tool when you’re growing plants in pots or grow bags. It helps to water the potting soil without splashing on the foliage. The Kensington Watering Can is stylish, strong, and can provide precision when watering potted plants.

TrowelGarden Guru Trowel is my favorite because it’s durable and comfortable to use. My gardening friends really love having a trowel because they use it for digging soil, mixing fertilizer, moving seeds, leveling out the soil, mixing compost or mulch, and also dividing tubers

(Video) Understanding Fertilizer: Water-Soluble V.S. Granular Slow-Release

Bypass Pruner – I really like the Corona Bypass Pruner because it’s durable and gives a clean cut that helps plants recover faster. If you’re looking for something cheap, get the Fiskars Bypass Pruner that is really good as well.

To see an extensive list of the best container gardening tools gardeners recommend, check out this resource that I made for you.

FAQs

Can You Dissolve Granular Fertilizer In Water? ›

You can dissolve granular fertilizer in water though it will take about 24 hours or more to completely dissolve. You can use the solution as a liquid fertilizer for quickly providing essential nutrients to your container plants.

Can you soak granular fertilizer in water? ›

You just soak your granular organic fertilizer in water, let it sit for about 24 hours or a day, and strain out the liquids. You can also turn granular fertilizer into liquid by simply mixing granular NPK fertilizer and dry organic fertilizer such as compost manure and cow manure with water in the right proportion.

How do you dissolve granulated fertilizer? ›

When you dissolve fertilizer, you add one cup of granular fertilizer per one gallon of water. You have to stir your mixture so the fertilizer can entirely dissolve. If your fertilizer does not seem to dissolve easily or completely, no worries.

Should I dissolve fertilizer in water? ›

It is important to dissolve the fertilizer completely in water. Otherwise, it will settle out in the mixing tank, and plants will not get their full dose of fertilizer elements. If there is a problem getting all of the fertilizer to dissolve, there are a couple of “fixes” to get the job done.

Can I make my own liquid fertilizer? ›

Place 4 tablespoons processed poultry manure or blended dry organic fertilizer into a quart jar, and fill with lukewarm water. Screw on the lid and shake vigorously, then keep at room temperature for two days. Pour off the liquid and dilute with water to the strength desired.

How long does it take granular fertilizer to dissolve? ›

Using 1 cup of dry granules for every 1 gallon of water, you can dissolve granular fertilizer to apply across your lawn. It will take 24 to 48 hours to dissolve completely, and you'll want to stir it periodically to be sure all of the solids are incorporated into the liquid.

How do you make water soluble fertilizer at home? ›

In a bucket, begin by placing compost, followed by water and a lid. Ensure the bucket is not tightly locked. Let it sit for one to two days and pour the water in a different bucket. Dilute it in a ratio of one to ten and use the mixture in the organic garden.

How do you mix powder fertilizer with water? ›

Mixing Dry Fertilizer Into Nutrient Solution - YouTube

Can I dilute fertilizer? ›

Put ½ teaspoon of the fertilizer into the container. (If you're using Miracle-Gro, use the small end of the scoop.) Fill the container with 1 gallon of water. Stir the fertilizer until it fully dissolves.

How do you dissolve urea fertilizer in water? ›

In general, mix 1 heaping tablespoon of a 46-0-0 urea fertilizer in 1 gallon of water to make a 0.5 percent solution or use 4 tablespoons of fertilizer to make a 2 percent solution. Use a funnel to pour the solution into the sprayer, shake well to dissolve the granules and spray the leaves lightly.

How do you use granular fertilizer? ›

Tips for applying granulated fertilizer

In flower beds and borders, broadcast granulated fertilizer by hand and then scratch it into the soil. Use a mechanical spreader in open areas like lawns. Always wash fertilizer granules off of foliage. Activate the granulated fertilizer by watering it in right after applying.

Which is better liquid fertilizer or granular fertilizer? ›

Neither granular nor liquid fertilizer is better than the other. Both fertilizers apply the same amount of nutrients, but one might be more desirable than the other, depending on the situation.

How long does it take for fertilizer to soak in? ›

Moisture Factor

You need to add ¼ to ½ inch of water to your lawn in the 24 hours immediately following fertilizer application. You then need to allow up to 48 hours for the fertilizer to soak into the soil. Rain, though, can substitute for watering. This conserves water for other uses.

What is water-soluble fertilizer? ›

Water-soluble fertilizers are made to dissolve into water. Because they are easily broken down, they are fast-acting – your plants will have an immediate boost in nutrients. There's also a reduced likelihood of over-fertilization, as water-soluble fertilizers can be applied more frequently.

What is one disadvantage of liquid fertilizer? ›

The main disadvantages that come with liquid fertilizer is that they can sometimes be more expensive than granular fertilizers, and they are more susceptible to volatilization (or turned into a gas and potentially evaporated into the atmosphere).

What is the best homemade fertilizer? ›

6 Easy Home-Made DIY Fertilizers For Your Plants
  • EGGSHELLS: Just like we humans enjoy eating eggs in our breakfast as they are a good source of calcium and potassium for our body, our plants could use them too. ...
  • GRASS CLIPPINGS: ...
  • COFFEE: ...
  • BANANA PEELS: ...
  • VINEGAR: ...
  • TEA:
Nov 8, 2018

Can you dissolve Osmocote in water? ›

Osmocote uses a nutrient prill, which contains all the fertilizer nutrients and is water-soluble.

What does banana water do for plants? ›

Banana Peel water can be very beneficial to plants by adding valuable minerals and nutrients to the soil. It helps increase bacterial growth which in turn breaks down organics compounds within the soil making nutrients easily available for plants to use.

How do you fertilize plants in water? ›

How to Fertilize Plants in Water. Simply add a good quality, water-soluble fertilizer to the container every time you change the water – usually every four to six weeks, or sooner if half of the water has evaporated. Use a weak solution consisting of one-quarter the strength recommended on the fertilizer container.

What liquid fertilizer is best? ›

10 Best Liquid Lawn Fertilizer Concentrates
  • Scotts Liquid Turf Builder Ready To Spray Fertilizer. ...
  • Ferti-Lome Liquid Iron Lawn Fertilizer. ...
  • Medina Ready-To-Spray HastaGro Liquid Lawn Fertilizer. ...
  • Southern Ag Chelated Liquid Iron For Lawns. ...
  • Plantworks Empathy Liquid Lawn Feed.

How do you apply granular fertilizer to potted plants? ›

Consequently, a granular fertilizer is the popular choice for growing potted plants. It reaches the part of the soil where the root systems are with the help of water. Basically, you have to use half a teaspoon of the fertilizer for every gallon of potting mix. Water the potted plants as soon as you apply fertilizer.

How do you mix dry fertilizer? ›

How To Mix Dry Nutrients - YouTube

How do you dilute plant fertilizer? ›

When fertilizing daily, use a week solution. So when the label reads; dilution rate of 4 tablespoons of fertilizer to 1 gallon of water, you can use 1/2 T to 1 T per gallon of water. Daily feeding is generally not necessary unless you are a commercial grower or want quick results for hanging baskets and potted plants.

Can I use both liquid and granular fertilizer? ›

You can use both liquid and granular fertilizers as long as the fertilizers are compatible. Keep to using two fertilizers that are intended for the same purpose. This method can be beneficial to plants if done carefully, but it can be damaging if it is not done correctly.

How do you store granular fertilizer? ›

Granular products absorb moisture from the air, causing them to cake up like cement. An excellent way to store opened bags of lawn or garden fertilizers is to place the bags in large containers, such as 5 gallon buckets, and cover with tight-sealing lids.

Is DAP fertilizer water soluble? ›

DAP is a water soluble fertilizer. The soil pH temporarily reduces to 8.5 in areas where DAP initially reacts with soil. DAP may produce free ammonia in high pH soils, which may cause seed injury if placed too close to seed rows.

How do you apply granular fertilizer? ›

How To Apply Granular Organic Fertilizer to Your Vegetable Garden

How do you store granular fertilizer? ›

Granular products absorb moisture from the air, causing them to cake up like cement. An excellent way to store opened bags of lawn or garden fertilizers is to place the bags in large containers, such as 5 gallon buckets, and cover with tight-sealing lids.

How do you apply granular fertilizer to potted plants? ›

Consequently, a granular fertilizer is the popular choice for growing potted plants. It reaches the part of the soil where the root systems are with the help of water. Basically, you have to use half a teaspoon of the fertilizer for every gallon of potting mix. Water the potted plants as soon as you apply fertilizer.

How do you dissolve urea fertilizer in water? ›

In general, mix 1 heaping tablespoon of a 46-0-0 urea fertilizer in 1 gallon of water to make a 0.5 percent solution or use 4 tablespoons of fertilizer to make a 2 percent solution. Use a funnel to pour the solution into the sprayer, shake well to dissolve the granules and spray the leaves lightly.

Videos

1. Dissolving urea in cold water in the Tow and Fert
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4. LIQUID VS. GRANULAR FERTILIZERS FOR PLANTS. THE BEST FERTILIZER FORMS FOR HOUSEPLANTS AND GARDEN🚨
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5. Making your own liquid fertilizer. EASY & CHEAP
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6. How to Use Miracle-Gro® Water Soluble Miracid® Acid-Loving Plant Food
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