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What is a Slow-Release Fertilizer? 

Slow-release fertilizers provide a steady supply of plant nutrients over an extended period of time. They require fewer applications because the materials are held in the soil and gradually release the nutrients. 
Why use Slow-Release Fertilizers? 

To protect lakes, streams, and ground water; to promote steady, uniform grass growth; to provide essential nitrogen for building healthy turfgrass; to avoid over-fertilization and "burning" of plants; and to protect soil microbial life and earthworms.
Slow-release fertilizers often save time and may save money in the long-run. Products may appear more expensive, but fewer applications are needed. If products include organic matter, the general health of the soil can be improved, thereby reducing the potential for pests and diseases.

Example List of Fertilizers
(as of Jan. 29, 2002)

These products are example brand name fertilizers that meet or exceed the recommendations established by the Healthy Lawn and Garden Technical Advisory Committee for Wayne and Oakland County as follows:

Slow-release fertilizer:
     - Organic fertilizer; or
     - Synthetic fertilizer with 40% or more water insoluble nitrogen

Low-phosphorus fertilizer:
     - Ratio of nitrogen-to-phosphorus which is equal to or greater than

Is not a weed and feed type product
     - Spot treatment of weeds is preferred

Fertilizer Brand Name  N-P-K  % slow release
Milorganite  6-2-0  92%
Fertrell "Nitrell"  5-3-4  85%
Corn Gluten Meal*  9-0-0  85%
Ringer Lawn Restorer*  10-2-6  76%
Fertrell Super Lawn & Garden  3-2-3  75%
Turf Nurture  15-4-7  75%
Fertrell Lawn Fertilizer*  9-1-4  67%
Pursell's Sta-Green*  31-2-4  65%
Vigoro Lawn Fertilizer*  29-3-4 or 31-2-4  64%
Most fertilizers w/Agrico Turf Step 3:  20-5-9  Over 50%
TruGreen Scenic Green*  25-0-11  36%
*= River Friendly & Lake-Safe Low-Phosphorus Fertilizer

The Healthy Lawn and Garden Technical Advisory Committee consists of representatives from the following agencies: Southeast Oakland County Resource Recovery Authority (SOCRRA), Oakland County MSU Extension, Wayne County MSU Extension, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Michigan Department of Agriculture, Metropolitan Detroit Landscapers Association, Oakland County Drain Commissioner's Office, and the Wayne County Department of Environment.

This is a partial listing. Other products meeting the recommendations may be available. If you are aware of others, please contact Ms. Nancy Gregor, Wayne County Department of Environment, at (734)326-3936.