Fertilizers: Dry vs. Liquid


Fertilizers: Dry vs. Liquid

When it comes to fertilizing your plants, there are a lot of options and a lot of decisions to be made. Walk into your local grow store, and, unless you've done some research, you're likely to be overwhelmed by the staggering number of fertilizer lines available. What, where, and how you're growing will help lead the way to your most beneficial choice. 

DRY: There are really two types of dry nutrients - soluble and insoluble. Soluble fertilizers are fertilizers like General Hydroponics MaxiGro/Bloom that are stirred into water to make a liquid nutrient solution. These types are pretty much the same as liquid as far as usage is concerned. Insoluble nutrients are dry nutrients that don't mix well in water and are typically organic/mineral composition. Insoluble organic dry nutrients are what we're talking about today. 

Dry organic nutrients can be mixed in with soil initially and used as a top dressing for your soil. Usually a small charge of dry nutrients are mixed in with the soil (if it doesn't already have nutrients) and then nutrients are fed by top dressing the soil. Growing isn't much easier than top dressing your soil every couple of weeks and just watering the rest of the time. The biggest benefits of this method are a low maintenance, organic garden that produces some quality results. 

The trade-off with dry organic gardening is that you can't adjust your feedings quickly. If you do overfertilize you have to flush A LOT more than with liquid fertilizers since the dry nutrients don't just wash away easily. It can sometimes take a few days or a week before your plant reacts to the overfeeding as well since it can take a few waterings for the nutrients to fully work into the soil. If you underfertilize it can sometimes take a couple days before the new fertilizer applications works down into the dirt and roots at a higher concentration so there is a bit of a delay. Due to this it can take longer to create the perfect dry organic feeding schedule for your plants. Some growers will take a season or two to work out the perfect schedule. However, once you do you have a super high quality and tasty harvest.


LIQUID: There are two main types of liquid nutrients - organic and synthetic, though there are blends of the two that offer the best of both worlds. Organic nutrients are similar to their dry counterparts but typically are more readily available since they're broken down some already and mix into the water for a more thorough penetration when feeding. Synthetic nutrients are made from mineral/chemical compounds and are immediately available for uptake in entirety. 

Liquid organic nutrients are a good option for growing an organic garden. However, unlike dry nutrients you will need to feed regularly. You do have a more control though and your garden will react quicker than with dry nutrients. You can also use dry nutrients and other ingredients to brew teas, basically making a homemade liquid organic fertilizer.

Synthetic nutrients are the most readily available and your plants will react the fastest to any changes. Synthetic nutrients require you to follow a feeding schedule rather than a set it and forget it approach. With synthetic you also have to pay more attention to your pH and ensure that you flush out the salts that build up over time more so that with dry organic fertilizers. However, you can quickly and easily tweak your feeding schedule to adjust for the specific plant or make a change to improve yields. You can arguably get better yields in volume/weight with synthetic nutrients over dry or liquid organics due to the readily available nutrients and specific types of nutrient compounds that generate better results. 


Whether you choose dry organics or synthetic liquid nutrients you can grow an awesome garden. It is really just grower's preference when choosing a fertilizer type. There isn't a right way or wrong way. We hope that this gives you a little more insight when picking the fertilizer for your garden. 

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