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What Are The 3 Numbers On Lawn Fertilizer

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How To Spread Fertilizer

What do the Numbers on Fertilizer Mean?

It may not seem important right away, but spreading your fertilizer correctly is important for your lawn to look beautiful.

Incorrect spreading of fertilizers can lead to a lawn with stripes in different colors dark green where more fertilizer dropped, lighter green where coverage was light.

Spread the fertilizer evenly to ensure that the growth and color of your lawn will be uniform.

You should use a fertilizer spreader to spread your fertilizer. The most common kinds available are cyclone or broadcast spreaders and drop spreaders.

Broadcast spreaders are usually the most effective and you can cover more ground with them, faster. I use the Scotts Elite spreader , but there are lots of options.

You can drive yourself nuts reading reviews for something like this, but my advice is to look for something without a wheel cavity where seed or fertilizer can get caught and then fall out in clumps. Thats the primary reason people get poor results with these spreaders.

As you spread the fertilizer on your lawn, you must overlap the pattern of your spread. So spread half of the material by traveling north to south across the entire lawn, then spread the other half moving east to west.

A lot of people get stripes in their lawn because they only move back and forth and dont use this technique, which allows for an even spread.

Use the right technique with the right amount of fertilizer with any decent spreader and youll get great results.

Know Before You Throw

Before you start tossing fertilizer onto your garden, make sure its actually needed. A simple soil test will tell you where your soil stands in regards to its nutrient content. You can purchase a soil test kit from an independent laboratory, or from a nearby land-grant university extension service if you live in the U.S. Once the existing nutrient levels are determined, calculate whats needed by using the fertilizer numbers on the bag. Testing is a necessary practice to determine the true state of your soil. Do this every few years. A soil test also tells you about another critical aspect of soil health: the pH. Read more about the importance of optimum soil pH here.

Though starting with a soil test is always the best way to determine how much fertilizer to add, at the bare minimum, follow the application rates listed on the label of the fertilizer.

Now that you know all about fertilizer numbers and how to use them to grow a better garden, youre sure to have your best growing season ever!

For more on caring for your garden, please visit the following articles:

Youve Probably Seen These Three Numbers Before But Do You Really Know What They Mean

There are three numbers on bags of fertilizer that represent the amount of nitrogen , phosphorus , and potassium in the product. These are the three primary nutrients turf needs to thrive.

The first number is the amount of nitrogen, the second stands for the amount of phosphorus and the third one shows the level of potassium. For example, a bag with 18-0-3 indicates the fertilizer has 18% nitrogen , no phosphorous and 3% potassium.

itrogen provides quick growth and greening of grass so in most cases the first number shown in the N-P-K ratio is the highest.

hosphorous promotes root development and aids the establishment of new grass seed or new sod. When the middle number is double digits such as 18-12-6, that fertilizer is considered to be a starter for new lawns. Many municipalities only allow the use of fertilizers with phosphorous for establishing new lawns, so be sure to check your local restrictions. Fertilizers for existing lawns will have a zero as the middle number on the bag.

Potassium helps grass resist diseases throughout the year and is important for overall plant health.

Having a soil test done is a useful way to determine what fertilizer analysis is a good fit for your particular need. The test results may indicate the soil is deficient in nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium or other elements such as iron or manganese.

Delicious vegetables and flowering ornamentals need more phosphorous and potassium so a balanced blend such as 14-14-14 is a good choice.

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Fertilizer Labels: What N

Beautiful lawns and gardens start with healthy, well-nourished plants. From grasses to flowering shrubs, every plant’s need is different, but some basics apply across the board. Choosing the right fertilizers for your lawn and garden doesn’t have to be difficult. Armed with fertilizer basics, making the right choice is as simple as 1-2-3:

Not All Lawn Fertilizers Are The Same

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If you’ve shopped for lawn fertilizer before, you might have noticed some numbers on the label that look something like this: 32-0-4. Its easy to ignore, but dontthis code says a lot. The numbers stand for nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium , and they tell you the percentage of those ingredients in the product by weight.

Heres how those letters and numbers add up for the look of your lawn.

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Lawn Maintenance: Whats The Best Lawn Fertilizer Ratio

Although this ratio can fluctuate based on the weather at the time of application. Early spring, late summer, mid-winter, rainy, etc. all will restrict fertilizers to portray their full effects to some extent. Even the purpose of fertilization is a factor that influences the desired N-P-K ratio.

In case you do not know what N-P-K is, it stands for Nitrogen-Phosphorus-Potassium. Potassiums chemical denotation is K.

The Roles Of N P And K

Nitrogen greens up your lawn and helps it grow. Phosphorus stimulates root growth and helps seeds sprout. Potassium helps grass withstand stresses like disease and drought. That’s why Scotts® Turf Builder® Starter® Food for New Grass contains phosphorus: It helps small seedlings establish a good root system. Once these roots are developed, though, they can access the phosphorus found naturally in most soils, which is why you wont find it added to Scotts® Turf Builder® products that arent for new grass.

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Organic Fertilizer Numbers Vs Synthetic Fertilizer Numbers

For natural-based organic fertilizers, the numbers in the N-P-K ratio are often smaller . This is due to the fact that the label percentages are based on levels of immediately-available nutrients and many of the nutrients in natural fertilizers are not available immediately upon application. It takes some time for the soil microbes to process these nutrients and release them for plant use. This may seem like a negative when in fact, it isnt. Instead, it means the nutrients are released slowly, over a long period of time, serving as a slow-release fertilizer over the course of many weeks.

A study out of the University of Massachusetts noted that synthetic chemical fertilizers release their nitrogen within 3-6 weeks, while organic, fish-based liquid fertilizer releases its nitrogen over the course of 15 weeks. Although the organic products may seem more expensive, youll actually be getting more nutrients over a longer period of time, making them more than worth the extra cash.

How To Dispose Of Old Liquid Fertilizer

What do the 3 numbers on fertilizer mean

Leave liquid fertilizer in its container with the lid on. Wrap it in four or more layers of newspaper, so it is absorbed in the case of a spill. Place the wrapped container inside a sturdy trash bag and tie closed. Place the bagged fertilizer inside your trash can with your regular trash on the day of trash pick-up.

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Not All Lawn Foods Are The Same

If you’ve shopped for lawn food, you might have noticed a numbers on the label that looks something like this: 32-0-4. Most people ignore it, but this code tells you a lot about the lawn food you’re about to buy. The numbers stand for Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potassium and they tell you the percentage of those ingredients in the product by weight. But what do these letters and numbers add up to for the look of your lawn?

What Are The 3 Numbers On Lawn Fertilizer

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In this regard, what is the best ratio for lawn fertilizer?

Recommended ratios of N-P-K for lawn fertilizers include 3:1:2 or 4:1:2. Another important factor in choosing nitrogen fertilizers is what kind of nitrogen is actually in the product. Nitrogen fertilizer may consist of fast-release or controlled-release nitrogen.

Also Know, how do you read fertilizer ratio? The three numbers that you see on a fertilizer label, such as 5-5-5, tell you what proportion of each macronutrient the fertilizer contains. The first number is always nitrogen , the second is phosphorus and the third is potassium .

Simply so, what does the numbers mean on Fertilizer 24 8 16?

These numbers represent the percent by weight of nitrogen , phosphorus and potassium in every container and are always listed in the same order. For example, a fertilizer such as Miracle-Gro All Purpose Plant Food designated as 24816 is comprised of 24% nitrogen, 8% phosphorus, and 16% potassium.

What are the numbers on starter fertilizer?

The three numbers on a fertilizer label indicate the percentages of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in the formulation. For example in the table above, applying 20 pounds of a 5-10-5 fertilizer would contain 1 pound of nitrogen, 2 pounds of phosphorus, and 1 pound of potassium.

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Higher Numbers Mean Higher Concentrations

The higher the number that comes on the bottle, the more concentrated the nutrient is inside that fertilizer. For example, if you have a fertilizer that lists out the NPK as 20-5-5, it means that there is four times the nitrogen compared to the amount of potassium and phosphorus. But a fertilizer that is listed as 20-20-20 is twice as concentrated as one that is 10-10-10. It is also possible for the fertilizer to only have one macro-nutrient. If the NPK is written as 10-0-0, this means that it only has nitrogen.

What The Numbers Mean

What Do Fertilizer Numbers Mean? â Tomasellos Landscaping

All fertilizer products must provide some uniform information to help consumers compare products easily. Every label carries three conspicuous numbers, usually right above or below the product name. These three numbers form what is called the fertilizer’s N-P-K ratio the proportion of three plant nutrients in order: nitrogen , phosphorus and potassium .

The product’s N-P-K numbers reflect each nutrient’s percentage by weight. For example, the label on a 12-pound bag of Pennington Ultragreen Lawn Fertilizer 30-0-4 reveals that it contains 30 percent nitrogen, 0 percent phosphorus and 4 percent potassium, in addition to its other beneficial ingredients. This comes in handy when soil test results recommend pounds of actual nitrogen rather than specific fertilizers. By multiplying 12 pounds by .30, you’ll see that this 12-pound bag contains slightly more than 3.6 pounds of actual nitrogen.

Lush grasses flourish with high-nitrogen fertilizers.

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So Now That I Know What The Numbers Mean How Which Type Do I Need

If you are looking to achieve that luscious green lawn, then choose a fertilizer that has a high first number. Just be prepared to mow the lawn more often, because it promotes speedy growth. If you find that your grass or leaves are yellowing, use a fertilizer with a higher nitrogen content.

If you are using the fertilizer on flowers or fruits, you will want one that is high in phosphorus. Should your plants begin turning a purplish hue, then make sure to purchase a fertilizer with a higher phosphorus count.

If you are preparing your lawn for the cooler months or want to ensure that it can withstand environmental hazards, then buy a fertilizer with a high amount of potassium.

Finally, if you want a good all-around fertilizer, go for one that has equal parts of all three elements. If you arent quite sure what your fertilizers element balance should be, then it can be a good idea to conduct a soil test to see what your yards soil may be lacking, and make up for the missing nutrients with the right fertilizer balance.

The experts at Greener Horizon are well-versed in lawn care and would be happy to help you determine the right fertilizer for your needs. Contact us with any landscaping questions you may have.

What The Three Numbers On Fertilizer Bags Do For Your Lawn

Ill go into each of these macro-nutrients in a more in-depth way below, but very briefly this is how Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potassium benefit your lawn grass:

  • Nitrogen is the nutrient plants need for leaf growth. By choosing a fertilizer with high levels of nitrogen youll help your grass grow a thicker, healthier canopy.
  • Phosphorous helps to generate new plant tissue, and in grass its especially good for promoting root growth. This is a vital macro-nutrient if youre laying sod or planting grass seed as it will help your lawn develop a robust root system that will sustain it through periods of drought.
  • Potassium is the macro-nutrient that will make your grass healthy and resistant to diseases. It triggers specific plant enzymes and regulates the uptake of carbon dioxide through leaf pores.

You can see how each macro-nutrient will benefit your grass in different ways, and different ratios will be best for different lawns in different seasons.

Now lets take a closer look at each one of these.

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What Is A Plant Fertilizer

Lets start at the beginning. By definition, a plant fertilizer is either a chemical or a natural material added to the soil to increase its fertility and aid in plant growth. Your mother may have drenched her plants with a blue, water-soluble chemical fertilizer every week and maybe you think you should do the same. But, theres been a major shift in thinking over the past decade when it comes to how to fertilize plants. Weve moved away from the idea of feeding plants and toward the idea of feeding soil. Let me explain.

When you use naturally-derived fertilizers instead of those derived from chemical salts, your plants are provided with a much more balanced nutrient source. Natural fertilizers provide nutrition for growing plants by feeding the soils living organisms. In turn, these microscopic critters process these fertilizers, breaking them down into the nutrients plants use to grow. When we feed the soil, our plants reap the benefits.

Why Should You Test Your Soil

Understanding Fertilizer

You should test your soil to find out its pH level and any nutrient deficiencies. Testing your soil will help you better understand what kind of fertilizer you need for your soil.

If you find that you have a deficiency in one of the macronutrients or micronutrients, use a fertilizer that will help you solve this problem and create a well-balanced, nutrient-dense environment for your lawn to thrive.

Soil Test Kits Ive Used & Recommend

There are many options for testing your lawns soil, but I prefer a lab-based soil test that will provide a detailed analysis of your soils nutrients and what it needs for your lawn to thrive.

And if youre interested in taking the guesswork out of what to do next after you get your soil test results, consider subscribing to one of LawnServs subscription boxes. Theyll test your soil and curate the products your lawn needs, mailing them to you with everything you need . Its pretty fool-proof .

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What Are The Three Numbers In Fertilizers

What are the three numbers in fertilizers? All fertilizer labels have three bold numbers. The first number is the amount of nitrogen , the second number is the amount of phosphate and the third number is the amount of potash . These three numbers represent the primary nutrients phosphorus potassium).

How often should you fertilize roses? Throughout the season: Continue to feed every 2 to 4 weeks during the growing season depending on the type of fertilizer used. Late summer to early fall: Apply a slow-release fertilizer with low nitrogen content such as bone meal to promote root growth and next years blooms.

What are signs of over fertilizing? more blooms, but roses only need so much fertilizer, and adding too much synthetic fertilizer can kill natural soil bacteria and/or lead to salt burn, which can both harm your plant.

Can fertilizer kill roses? Can I put too much fertilizer on my lawn? Applying too much fertilizer to your lawn will cause the nitrogen and salt levels in the soil to increase rapidly, which can damage or even kill the grass. When this happens, it is known as fertilizer burn and looks like yellow and brown strips or patches of dead grass.

How To Read Fertilizer Numbers

The three numbers found on fertilizer packaging represent NPK ratios. NPK stands for nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. The numbers represent the percentages of each nutrient in the fertilizer. An NPK value of 10-5-5 means that the fertilizer contains 10% nitrogen, 5% phosphorus and 5% potassium.

NPK ratios will be different for every lawn depending on the climate. Nitrogen makes your lawn green and helps it grow, potassium makes your grass hardier and more drought resistant and phosphorous is responsible for stimulating root growth while helping your seeds sprout.

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Lawn Fertilizer Numbers Micro Nutrients

Iron, zinc, manganese, copper, molybdenum, boron and chlorine are usually in the soil. A soil test will show if your soil is deficient of any of these elements.

If your soil lacks iron it is pretty apparent. An iron deficient lawn will turn yellow. This usually happens when your soil has a high pH level. Quality grass fertilizers usually correct this problem.

What Are The 3 Numbers In Lawn Fertilizer

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Recommended ratios of N-P-K for lawn fertilizers include 3:1:2 or 4:1:2. Another important factor in choosing nitrogen fertilizers is what kind of nitrogen is actually in the product. Nitrogen fertilizer may consist of fast-release or controlled-release nitrogen.

Beside above, what is the best lawn fertilizer for early spring? Scotts Turf Builder Lawn Food Safer Brand 9333 Ringer Lawn Fertilizer Milorganite 0636 Organic Nitrogen Fertilizer Espoma ELF20 Organic All Season Lawn Food

Furthermore, what does the numbers mean on Fertilizer 24 8 16?

These numbers represent the percent by weight of nitrogen , phosphorus and potassium in every container and are always listed in the same order. For example, a fertilizer such as Miracle-Gro All Purpose Plant Food designated as 24816 is comprised of 24% nitrogen, 8% phosphorus, and 16% potassium.

Is triple 16 fertilizer good for lawns?

Super 16-16-16 All-Purpose Garden and Lawn Starter Fertilizer is good for feeding trees, shrubs, evergreens, flowers and vegetables. It is also good for starting new lawns. It contains slow-release nitrogen for extended feeding.

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