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.
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.