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Question
Twice a year I fertilize with broadcast pellets (34-0-0) at a cost of approx $80 each time. Miracle=Gro (34-0-0)would cost me $5-$10 per application. Am I missing something here? Why should I use the pellets? Thanks for your help.

Answer
There may be rules governing the application of fertilizers (nitrogen and phosphorous, particularly) in the area in which you live.
So please check on, and comply with, such regulations as may exist.
You are aware that the first number is the percent Nitrogen (34 in this case).
What is  more important is the source of this nitrogen.
Urea is a rich source of nitrogen but it is quite soluble and is easily leached or carried away in runoff after a rain. If over-applied or not watered in, it can "burn" the grass blades. Ammonium sulfate, ammonium nitrate etc. are quite soluble. Generally, liquid fertilizers and water soluble fertilizers are quickly taken up by the turf (quick green up) but the effect is short-lived.
These same sources can be made less soluble (like time release medications) by encapsulation or other manufacturing processes. This assures a more sustained color and vigor of the turf.
In the area where I live, at least fifty percent of the nitrogen must be "slow release". And no more than half pound of nitrogen per thousand square feet can be applied at any one time. No more than four pounds in a year; and things like that.
Note: 34 0 0 means 34 pounds of Nitrogen in 100 pounds of the product.
Which works out to 17 pounds of Nitrogen in a 50 pound bag.
Peruse the label carefully. By law, all the information is there.
By law, you are obliged to follow it.  

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Ronald B Persaud

Expertise

Florida (Central and South) lawns maintenance and troubleshooting.

Experience

Work experience in Garden and Technical Sales (Ace Hardware and Lesco). L&O Spray Technican/Horticulturist/Tree permitting (Local Municipality). Commercial Landscape Maintenance (Condo complex and Shopping Mall)

Organizations
Past member Florida Landscape Maintenance Association (Pinellas County).

Publications
On the 'Gardenweb' under the pseudonym "Ronalawn82"

Education/Credentials
CPO certified (L&O) Florida. Hons. Graduate: Eastern Caribbean Farm Institute (now Eastern Caribbean Institute of Agriculture and Forestry), Trinidad WI.

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