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What Do The Numbers On Lawn Fertilizer Mean

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The Numbers On Fertilizer Labels What They Mean

What do the Numbers on Fertilizer Mean?

Please follow the label, more is not better

Whenever you see a fertilizer product, it will have three numbers prominently listed on the package, usually on the front. These numbers are very important and tell a great deal about what this fertilizer will do.

Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium are what the numbers refer to. They are always listed in this order. It is the percentage within that package of each component.

For example, a common type of all-purpose fertilizer is referred to as 10-10-10. This is a balanced blend of equal portions of Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium. If you purchased a 50-pound bag, five pounds would be Nitrogen, five pounds would be phosphorus, and five pounds would be potassium. The remaining 70% is simply filler, or inert ingredients, which are there mostly to help disperse the chemicals.

Up, Down, and all Around

A common way of describing the purpose behind each chemical is to think up, down, and all around. Applying this simple phrase will help you remember that Nitrogen , the first chemical listed, helps with plant growth above ground. Nitrogen does a great job of promoting the green leafy growth of foliage, and provides the necessary ingredients to produce lush green lawns. Lawn fertilizers will frequently have a high first number for this purpose.

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.

What Is A Good Fertilizer Blend For Lawns

There is a good fertilizer blend for each lawn. The good news is that the same ratio can be applied to a majority of lawns. It is always good to evaluate your soil accurately with a soil testing kit .

Lets start with the basics what even is a fertilizer blend? Fertilizer blend means the ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, otherwise known as an NPK ratio. Each chemical plays a large part in the health of your lawn. For most lawns, the ideal ratio is 4:1:2 or 3:1:3.

It might feel like were throwing random numbers at you, but we promise, were not. To better understand why each chemical is so important, lets dive deeper.

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How To Test Your Soil

To make sure that your garden is as successful as possible, you need to test the soil and then add in the right fertilizer. Testing the soil level will help you learn the pH level and see which nutrients are there already and which ones need replenished with the fertilizer. Most soils are low in at least one of the main macro-nutrients, depending on the area and type of plants you want to grow. Testing the soil will help you determine which ones and make changes.

There are several ways that you can test out the soil and analyze the nutrient composition inside. Two options include:

Why Is Phosphorus Important For Your Lawn

Figuring Out Garden Fertilizer

Phosphorus is essential for root growth. It is especially crucial for early grass development and a lack of Phosphorus could be why youre having trouble growing a new lawn from seed.

Phosphorus keeps your grass healthy, especially early in its life. The stage of life at which phosphorus is most important for your grass is when it is young and still establishing its roots and growing new blades of grass.

Phosphorus continues to be important even with established lawns because it maintains lushness and thickness. When the roots of your grass are healthy, they are more effective at absorbing nutrients and maintain strong growth. Your lawn will also be more resilient to drought.

If you want your lawn to be thick and soft, phosphorus is a key component of the best lawn fertilizer ratio.

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How Do You Adjust A Fertilizer Spreader

Adjusting your fertilizer spreader or calibrating is the right way to get the best out of your spreader for even application. To do this there a few steps you would have to follow and we will explain them:

  • The first step in calibrating your fertilizer spreader is to calculate the amount of fertilizer needed per 100 sq ft. This is done by dividing 100 sq. ft by the square ft area the fertilizer is supposed to cover.
  • The number obtained from this is then divided by the weight of the fertilizer bag. For example if the fertilizer is supposed to cover a total area 5,000 sq. ft and the fertilizer bag weighs 25lbs then it will be: 25 lbs x = 0.5lbs
  • This means that 0.5lbs worth of fertilizer is to be applied for every 100sq. ft area. This amount is placed in the spreader.
  • For broadcast spreaders, it is advisable to start off with a 10ft x 10ft area which is 100 sq ft. For drop spreaders however the required length is determined by the width of the spreader.
  • Apply the fertilizer using the suggested setting.
  • However if the fertilizer is used up before you completely cover the area, decrease setting and then start off on another 100sq feet until the correct amount setting is achieved.
  • Also if the fertilizer remains after the area has been covered up, increase the setting and then start off on another 100 sq feet until the correct amount needed is achieved.

What Do The Numbers Mean On Lawn Fertilizer


. Just so, 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.

Secondly, what do the numbers 10 5 10 mean on a fertilizer bag? These nutrients are the three numbers on a fertilizer bag listed in order . So, a fertilizer that contains 5-10-10 means it has 5 percent nitrogen, 10 percent phosphorus , and 10 percent potassium . A completefertilizer contains all three.

Also question is, 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 does Epsom salt do for lawn?

Epsom Salt Lawn CareAs previously mentioned, Epsom salt contains magnesium , which is key to seed germination, chlorophyll production and improving the uptake of nitrogen, phosphorus and sulfur. Use Epsom salt as lawn fertilizer in the spring to facilitate lush green growth.

Also Check: How Much Does Lawn Maintenance Cost Per Month

Why Do They Matter

Each of these three nutrients in the N-P-K system has a distinct function. For example, nitrogen promotes robust and leafy growth and a deep green hue in lawn grasses and other plants.

Growth slows, and lawns and plants look pale when there isnt enough nitrogen.

Conversely, an overabundance of nitrogen causes blooming and fruit-bearing plants to focus their resources on green development, sacrificing their blossoms and fruit.

Phosphorus helps plants utilize other nutrients efficiently while focusing energy on vigorous root development and blooms, fruits, and seeds. Conversely, phosphorus deficiency causes weak roots, as well as a lack of flowers and fruit.

Due to environmental concerns over phosphorus runoff into waterways, a growing number of states and counties are restricting the use of phosphorus for lawns.

If a soil test indicates a nutrient deficiency in these states or counties, homeowners can usually apply a high-phosphorus lawn beginning fertilizer, such as Pennington UltraGreen Starter Fertilizer 22-23-4.

You should check any fertilizer application limits with your local county extension agent.

Potassium aids overall growth. It keeps plants healthy and balanced by regulating root and top growth.

This control impacts many lawn and garden health elements, from disease and insect resistance to cold and drought tolerance.

What Is Scotts Edgeguard

What do the 3 numbers on fertilizer mean


Click to see full answer. Also asked, what do the numbers mean on a Scotts spreader?

If it is a Scotts basic broadcast spreader, the number represents the number of pounds of fertilizer placed over 1000 sq ft.

Furthermore, what do the numbers mean on a fertilizer spreader? 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 . Phosphorus is provided as 0-46-0 and potash as 0-0-60 or 0-0-50.

Secondly, what setting should I use on my Scotts spreader?

For application using a pushed broadcast spreader, Scotts recommends a setting of 5 1/2 when overseeding and a bare-lawn setting of 8 1/4. With a handheld broadcast spreader, Scotts recommends a setting of 4 when overseeding or seeding a new lawn but suggests that the sower make two perpendicular passes for new areas.

What setting do you put grass seed on?

Agway’s sun and shade grass seed grows well in partial shade to full sun. Agway recommends a setting of 15 for overseeding and 18 for a new lawn when using either their rotary spreader or an Earthway rotary spreader. With an Agway drop spreader, use a setting of 18 for overseeding and 22 for new seeding.

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Why Miracle Grow Is Bad

Miracle-Gro supplies an enormous amount of nitrogen for plants so that they grow big, bushy, green, and fast. The problem with MG is that the nitrogen is derived from synthetic ammonium and water soluble nitrates, producing off-chemicals that are harmful to soil microbes, worms, and all other forms of life in the soil.

Fertilizer Numbers: A Simple Way To Understand

  • Yard & Garden
When you purchase garden fertilizer, the ratio of nitrogen , phosphorus and potassium will be listed on the container in the form of three numbers. But what do those fertilizer numbers mean, and how do you use them?

Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium. Up, Down, All Around. Come on, Jess, its so easy!

This was my introduction to the basics of horticulture from my dependable schoolmate, Ray. Having re-entered college after an extended absence, Ray was my own personal coach helping me understand the science behind the art of horticulture.

For the new or intuitive gardener , the chemistry behind the action of fertilizing can be intimidating. I have often witnessed gardeners in the fertilizer aisle going from one product to the next trying to decipher the label and the numbers, confused by symbols they barely recollect from their high school science lessons. Up, down all around. Thats when Rays little pearl falls from my lips.

This simple phrase is an easy way to remember the primary nutrients your plants require to achieve successful growth:

  • Nitrogen for vegetative growth like plant leaves or grass .
  • Phosphorus for root development .
  • Potassium for everything .

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Why Is There Sometimes A 4th Fertilizer Number

In some cases, a fertilizer blend is created for a specific type of plant. As mentioned above, azaleas need more iron than is typical. Some blends will feature a fourth number that stands for the amount of iron, in this case.

Other times they tuck that information away on the ingredients list but will mention the fourth nutrient in the product name or on the front of the fertilizer bag. It just depends on how they choose to pursue their marketing.

Brands that do choose to include the 4th number will sometimes include it on other products that don’t have a specialized fourth nutrient involved, in which case the number is listed as 0, meaning there’s zero percent of any extra trace minerals.

This is only to not confuse their customers who are used to seeing this 4th fertilizer number.

Common 4th numbers represent nutrients like iron , calcium , magnesium , and sulfur .

The Best Npk Values For Your Garden

Understanding Fertilizer Numbers to Grow a Healthier Lawn ...

It is important to pick the right NPK values for your garden. This will often depend on which types of plants you would like to grow. If your garden is going to be full of leafy greens or another plant with large leaves, then adding extra nitrogen to the soil is important. Nitrogen is great for supporting the leaves of all plants and can give you some of the best lettuce, spinach, and other leafy greens.

However, if you plan to work with something like tomatoes or another flower, then making sure the flower has some extra phosphorus in the soil is important. Phosphorus takes care of not only the roots of the plant, but also any fruit that comes from it or the flowers so it can be great for a big flower garden.

Potassium is needed to improve the functioning of the plant in all areas. All plants can benefit from having a little bit extra potassium in them, ensuring that the roots are strong and the plant is able to function well in the soil. If your plants seem a little droopy during the summer, you may want to add more potassium.

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What Do The Different Nutrients Do

Each nutrient plays a different role. Nitrogen boosts green leafy growth. Its like the gas pedal, says John Esslinger, horticulture educator at Penn State Extension. Thats why many lawn fertilizers are high in nitrogen to promote leafy growth. Phosphorus helps strong roots form, so plants lacking in phosphorus may be purple-ish and slow-growing. Potassium helps promote vigorous growth and hardiness, so a deficit may result in wimpy fruit or spindly plants that fall prey to pests and diseases.

What Are The 3 Numbers On Fertilizer

Many garden enthusiasts are already familiar with the 3 numbers that appear on the packaging of fertilizers. These numbers show the nutritional value for plants of each product.

These are the fertilizers NPK numbers and they represent the 3 most important nutrients Nitrogen , Phosphorus , and Potassium that plants need. There are around 16 of these essential nutrients but these 3 macronutrients are the most important. Knowing the meaning of these numbers will help you choose the best fertilizer for your plants.

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Fertilizer Is An Important Part Of Good Lawn Care

As weve seen here, fertilizing your lawn is a critical part of taking care of your property. But you have to use the right fertilizer, in the right concentration, at the right time.

If you want the greenest and healthiest lawn possible, keep all the information about fertilizer Ive shared here in mind the next time you go shopping for lawn care products.

And test your soil, so youre not buying nutrients that are already plentiful in your yard!

What Is 10 20 20 Fertilizer Used For

Fertilizer Bag Numbers — What Do They Mean?

One of the most common combinations of these components is 10-20-20. This is a general purpose fertilizer thats best applied to vegetable gardens. Its specially recommended for root vegetables and beans.

But this fertilizer isnt recommended for lawns because it doesnt contain the ideal balance of nutrients needed for new grass seedlings or established grass. Instead, you should use a more specialized fertilizer for your lawn.

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The Second Number Represents The Percentage Of Phosphorus

Phosphorus is critical in developing and strengthening a healthy root system of turfgrass. If only nitrogen is applied to the lawn, the grass will be nice and green, but as watering or a drought hits the grass will be greatly impacted. Having strong roots in your grass will keep your lawn healthy through the changing weather and stresses of the seasons.

Phosphorus or P is a primary plant nutrient that is involved in the metabolic processes responsible for transferring energy throughout the plant. Its crucial to introduce phosphorus when first establishing turfgrass and continue application as the grass grows. An abundance of phosphorus allows plants to grow more efficiently.

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.

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What Do The Numbers On Fertilizer Mean

What homeowner doesnt want a gorgeous lawn to accent their home? Even better is when that lawn is accented with thriving flowers and other shrubbery. One of the keys to maintaining a full, green lawn and keeping your plants alive is to use fertilizer. However, there is more of a science to fertilizer than many believe. Fertilizer is not a one-size-fits-all kind of product, so it is important to understand how to read the package in order to be sure that youre using the right kind.

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