What do I do with My Left over Granules?

Apr 5, 2001

The Bottom Line Whatever fertilizer you purchase you should store it per the manufacture's instructions.

Fertilizing your lawn or garden can be an easy task, and it can be done quickly when following the manufacturers instructions. Most bags of lawn fertilizer come in sizes that cover 5000 square feet of lawn. Most lawns are not exactly 5000 square feet. Whether your lawn is smaller than 5000 square feet or it is larger, chances are you are going to have left over fertilizer. Once you are done with your fertilizing the task of finding a place to store your fertilizer must be overcome.

For years I folded the bag of left over fertilizer and hid it somewhere in the garage. The next time I went to use the fertilizer, I found that moisture had gotten to the fertilizer and I was left with big clumps of a cement type substance. I needed to come up with a better storage method to keep the fertilizer fresh and to keep it out of the reach of children and pets.

One solution that I found to my storage problem was a 5 gallon buckets with a lid. The bucket seems to be airtight and I have kept the fertilizer in the bucket for months at a time without degradation of the fertilizer. Five gallon buckets can be found at most hardware stores. I used to buy my laundry soap in 5 gallon buckets at our local discount warehouse store; and my husband thought they would come in handy sometime. Well they did, they are perfect for my left over fertilizer.

Storing the Left Over Fertilizer:

Keep in Original Store Package -- I keep the left over fertilizer in the original bags no matter what amount is left over. There is nothing worse than taking the lid off of a bucket 6 months old later and not knowing what the contents are inside. By keeping the fertilizer in the bags it is ease to identify and easy to keep separate. At times, I have been able to store multiple bags of left over fertilizer in one five gallon bucket.

One thing I do not do is store any liquid fertilizer or other chemicals with the dry fertilizer. I only store dry fertilizers that are the same type, together. It is not a good idea to mix any chemicals that have different properties. If you are in doubt, store them separately.

Safety -- When storing fertilizer keep in mind how accessible it might be to animals and to small children. If at all possible keep the stored fertilizer in a locked shed or cabinet. If you do not have a locked shed or cabinet than please place the stored fertilizer out of reach.

Fertilizer is a chemical/poison and if not handled properly it can cause serious injury or even death.

My solution for fertilizer storage has worked well for us. I am not saying it is the right solution but it is one that is efficient and clean.

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