What makes one fertilizer “cheap” and another one “expensive?” Believe it or not, the answer to this question cannot always be determined by price alone. In the not-too-distant past, when turf managers determined which fertilizer they would use for their fertility program, almost all of the emphasis was placed on price per ton – e.g., if Fertilizer A cost $600 per ton and Fertilizer B cost $700 per ton, then Fertilizer A was the clear choice.
As time went on, the art and science of choosing the most appropriate fertilizer became a little more sophisticated. Turf managers gained more knowledge about plant nutrition, and the methods used to determine the right blend of plant nutrients became more intricate. Slightly more complicated calculations emerged, leading to an emphasis on price per pound of nutrients supplied instead of just cost per ton alone. This process evolved yet again as managers began considering the impact of nutrient availability, which led to the introduction of a number of additional variables including particle size, ease of application and inherent elemental availability. While these additional factors helped turf managers develop better accuracy in their buying decisions, what often wasn’t taken into account was how the changes in funds allocated for fertilizer would affect other budget line items, such as labor costs, water use, equipment costs, etc. Today’s turf manager must be exceptionally astute in order to manage the many moving parts that constitute a fertility program budget.
This is one of the strengths of using Nature Safe – it produces a positive impact on practically every component of your turf management system. Below are just some of the many ways in which Nature Safe can help you save money:
- Pound for pound, Nature Safe provides more nutrition in the bag than any other organic fertilizer on the market. Not only is our fertilizer rich in high-quality nutrients, but it provides slow availability, releasing over a 10-12 week period. By contrast, soluble synthetic compounds tend to produce much more waste due to runoff and leaching, and you’ll have to water your turf more often to prevent burning as well. Not only that, but due to the typical “surge and starve” growth pattern produced by synthetic fertilizers, you’ll have to mow more often, leading to increased labor costs and more frequent equipment use. So while the low-priced soluble compounds may cost less per ton, you’re losing money on the back end due to runoff, leaching, increased water costs, and additional labor and equipment expense due to extra mowing.
- Nature Safe is 100 percent available, which is a cut above traditional organics such as compost, manure and sludge that typically release only 30-50 percent of their nutrition over the course of the first year.
- Nature Safe works in conjunction with the natural growth cycles of the plant, releasing nutrients at a rate that the plant can actually use. This results in healthy, robust plant growth without loss or damage.
- Nature Safe is program-ready, which means there won’t be any unpleasant surprises. It can be integrated into a regular turf management program to provide consistent, repeatable results.
When choosing a fertilizer for your turf management program, it can be tempting to go for the one that advertises the lowest cost per ton, but this would be a short-sighted mistake. Nature Safe can save you tons of time and money over the long haul, which makes it a much wiser choice for budget-conscious turf managers.