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I put down my Spring lawn products this week. All was going well, I loamed and seeded a couple of low spots and put down Milorganite and lime, then scratched the seed into the soil. So far, so good.

Then I limed the rest of the yard and started spreading the most expensive product I bought, a 15000 sq ft bag of Turf builder with Halts. The Scotts is nice since it is colored and easy to see. What I found disconcerting was that the flow from the spreader was not uniform. There were big chunks of fertilizer that were blocking the flow and not being broken up by the spinning wire. I had to keep stopping when I would see the flow drop to near zero and clear it. The result being a very un-uniform spreading of an expensive product. I buy Scotts for the quality, it's disappointing when a perceived quality product lets you down.
 

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Professional Homeowner
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Figure the bag got wet inside at some point?
I declared BS that Scott’s is all that great many years ago. I always just bought either the cheap stuff from Menards or bought pro grade bulk stuff from a local hardware store for about 1/3 the price or less of the Scotts. My lawn traditionally looked as good or better than my neighbor to the west some years back, and all they used was Scott’s.
 

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Yeah, doesn't take much moisture for fertilizer to clump up. And few places take that good care of the product, so it's easy for the bags to get small holes in them during transport and handling to let water in.
 

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I screen the fertilizer through a 1/4" mesh to ensure it flows. I don't buy Scotts so I don't know what to expect for quality control. What I do buy often has lumps that formed and then fallen off the bagging equipment. They are so rock hard that there is no breaking them up so I put the chunks aside to dissolve in a watering can.
 

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Spreading Turf Builder w/ Halts after seeding will probably negate the work that you did seeding. The Halts is a pre-emergent that prevents seeds from germinating. If you are going to use then you should wait at least eight weeks before seeding. Actually though I would wait till late August so seed has a better chance with cooler Sept. weather.
MikeC
 

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Spreading Turf Builder w/ Halts after seeding will probably negate the work that you did seeding. The Halts is a pre-emergent that prevents seeds from germinating. If you are going to use then you should wait at least eight weeks before seeding. Actually though I would wait till late August so seed has a better chance with cooler Sept. weather.
MikeC
Exactly. Crabgrass control will also control turf grasses. Its a pre-emergence chemical to pkill the plant as it germinates. It would have no effect on existing grass.
Weren’t the lumps in the fertilizer apparent when dumping the bags into the spreader? That can happen to any bag at this time of year just due to temperature changes and humidity. Its not hard to screen it if your spreader doesn’t break them up or just pick the lumps out as you’re filling your spreader.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Exactly. Crabgrass control will also control turf grasses. Its a pre-emergence chemical to pkill the plant as it germinates. It would have no effect on existing grass.
Weren’t the lumps in the fertilizer apparent when dumping the bags into the spreader? That can happen to any bag at this time of year just due to temperature changes and humidity. Its not hard to screen it if your spreader doesn’t break them up or just pick the lumps out as you’re filling your spreader.
I guess I wasn't clear. I had a couple of areas in the yard where I added topsoil to fill in the depressions that were puddling after a rain. I seeded those areas and did NOT use Halts on them. The Scotts plus Halts was for the rest of the yard.

And no, the chunks were not obvious when pouring. They really weren't that big, just big enough to clog the dispenser hole.
 

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I used to work for a cement manufacturer. Great lengths were taken to insure product was not lumpy when packed. MOST problems occur during shipment to the distributor or retailer. They can be left out in the rain, punctured by a fork lift, coffee spilled when using the pallet for a lunch table, a drip in the warehouse roof, job site was a mud hole... you name it. Manufacturer always got the blame since everyone in the downstream transport/storage chain were perfect...right?

Fertilizer has the same lumping characteristics in the presence of water/moisture except it can be busted up and used. Cured cement lumps cure, and become just hard lumps..there is no turning back on that chemical reaction, they are spent.
 

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While I'm not a Scotts fan at all, I do have to agree that I wouldn't pin the quality control issues on Scotts itself. The clumping is probably a result of a small hole in the bag, or poor storage conditions at the retailer.
 

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Where is it made now? China? Would not be surprised. I stopped using Aleve pills after I saw in fine print "China" They even manufacture Harleys with Chinese parts (no wonder the Europeans want to build their own) China now makes stuff w/made in India on it. Some of it is (under China control), Some is made in China with India printed on it.

They used to say that you get what you pay for, but my experience is that sometimes you don't. Sometimes the cheaper stuff is better.

Next time make sure the bag has no holes in it that let moisture in to cause the clumping.Check the expiration date. Big Boxes often sell stuff they got cheap because it was old.
 

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All I can say is I like to buy quality stuff, and it's very hard to do these days. I guess we've become a use it and throw it away people. Not me though. That's probably why I have so much mess in my shop!
 

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Yeah, this is what all those 'free trade' agreements have done for us. Nothing is made here any more. They keep telling me 'it's good for our economy', but, when americans can no longer find the good jobs, because they simply aren't here any more, I really fail to see how that is good for anyone here, except the guys getting the huge salaries for exporting jobs.
 

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I bought a new spreader this spring. Besides having a top cover, it has a stiff mesh that will suspend any clumps that may have gotten past you as you pours in the contents.

After inspecting a perfectly ****ty job of powdercoating, I wrapped, as best I could, all exposed steel that was apt to rust.
 

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