Randy Lemmon may no longer be with us, but his advice and legacy live on with his podcasts and tips archive. Rest in peace Randy.Full Bio


No, I don’t own Nitro-Phos stock

Since it is pretty close to the first of April, I talked a lot on last weekend’s radio show about putting down the slow- or controlled-release fertilizer called for in my lawncare schedule. After recommending Nitro-Phos Superturf 19-4-10 several times, I was asked why I seem to adamantly endorse it over almost any other fertilizer. For example, on Facebook I got, “Randy, you must be part owner of Nitro Phos, you recommend it so much.”

Photo: Nitro-phos

First, understand that in my 25-plus years of doling out gardening advice on the radio and in email tips, Facebook posts and on websites, there have been times when I backed several such fertilizers at the same time. In fact, I still recommend those products to this day.

But I’m neither a part-owner nor stockholder of Nitro-Phos. Yes, they pay for my endorsement, but so do other companies like Medina and Bonide. My endorsement of Nitro-Phos Superturf is not exclusive, and if a new fertilizer came along that could meet my requirements, they would also have my approval. But the bigger question would be, would that company be savvy enough to promote their product on GardenLine? 

Last year at this time, I published some details about Nitro-Phos Superturf 19-4-10 because I wanted to point out that I’m not the only person who thinks it’s one of the best for this region. In fact, my opinion has been heavily influenced by a premier Texas soil scientist who I promised not to reveal his name because he works with nearly every fertilizer company that blends products for Southern turfgrasses. But several years ago, I asked if he could pick just one slow-release fertilizer for the Gulf Coast, which would it be? He didn’t hesitate in choosing Nitro-Phos Superturf 19-4-10. 

Lately, you’ve also heard me promote a new fertilization line from Nelson Plant Food. It’s called TurfStar, and I’ll be providing a writeup on it very soon. I’m truly excited about its potential. 

Keep in mind that I take recommending products very seriously. Candidates have to actually do the job without forcing users to overspend. So, while it’s true Nitro-Phos advertises their products on my show, that’s not why I recommend Superturf 19-4-10 more than any other. It’s because of these seven reasons:

  • It’s been scientifically shown to be the premier formula for Southern turfgrasses.
  • Works on St. Augustine, Bermuda and zoysia.
  • It is the most readily available - more stores carry it than any other.
  • The company consistently markets their products and the brand.
  • The product covers the largest area, making it the most cost-effective.
  • It’s local - blended and packaged in the Houston area.
  • You only need to use it one time, and you’ll be hooked.

If you consult my lawn fertilization schedule, you’ll see there are other brands and blends on the list, because they really do work as well as Nitro-Phos Superturf 19-4-10. They just don’t promote their products anymore or they are found in very few places. The perfect example is Easy Gro Premium 19-5-9. It’s still available, but at limited locations. Ironically, it was the only fertilizer ever recommended by my GardenLine predecessors, Bill Zak and John Burrow.

There are also some good products that are proprietary blends, but they’re branded for and available at only singular retail operations. I believe it is my job to help you easily get the best product for any treatment you’d need, so that’s why Nitro-Phos Superturf 19-4-10 seems to wind up being recommended more than any other. Plus, Nitro-Phos is the only company that still actively markets their products on the GardenLine radio show. But to only recommend one fertilizer would be like only recommending one nursery or garden center.

As I’ve said countless times on the air, I’m a true believer in the old “dance with the one what brung ya" idea. If you’ve had success with some other fertilizer designed for Southern turfgrasses, and it's cost-effective and easy for you to get, stick with it. But since we are in the heart of the April fertilization part of my schedule, and if you’re thinking of making a change, give Nitro-Phos Superturf 19-4-10 a try this year.

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