a standard fertilizer may have a potassium level … Mature lawns don’t really need much potassium or phosphorus, so you will look for a ratio with a large first number and smaller second and third number. Let's run through a full example with a 50 pound bag of 6-6-18 fertilizer (remember, the order of the numbers is N-P-K): This means a 50 pound bag of 6-6-18 fertilizer contains a total of 15 pounds of nutrients. 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. This is the percentage by weight of the N, P, and K found in the fertilizer. In most cases, a rate of one pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet is suggested for each fertilizer application to the lawn. Your lawn’s nutrient needs change in the fall in preparation for the cold weather ahead. Working immediately, it will only take between 3-5 days for your lawn to be healthier and brighter. Here's What to Do, Where Do Spider Mites Come From? How to Read a Fertilizer Label. Safer Brand Lawn Restore is an organic 10-0-6 fertilizer that promises to provide a perfect balance of the natural elements within your soil. Fertilizers all present with three numbers that tell us a lot about what's in the bag. Safer Brand Lawn Restore is an organic 10-0-6 fertilizer that promises to provide a perfect balance of the natural elements within your soil. of the nutrient you are trying to add to the soil. Fertilizer Overview. These numbers are used to calculate how much fertilizer needs to be applied to equal 1 pound of the nutrient you are adding to the soil. The three numbers (e.g., 10-10-10 or 20-5-10) on the front of any balanced fertilizer package stand for the percentage of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium in the mix – always in that order. 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. Organics help feed your lawn by stimulating microbial activity in your soil, creating a healthier medium in which your grass can grow. Lawn food has an NPK ratio of 32 -0 – 10. Lawn maintenance is more than just mowing, thatching and aerating. Many lawn fertilizer manufactures now formulate their products without phosphorous (making the middle number zero). You need to know how imbalanced your lawn soil currently is so you can add the right amount back so your grass and trees can thrive (versus become sickly). And more is not better. You want one that slings the mixture in a 360 degree pattern (like the one in the image above) instead of just forward as you walk with it. For this example, use 10-10-10. 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. of the nutrient to the soil. Plus, how to decide what you should use for your garden or yard's fertilizer. The fertilizer numbers represent a percentage of the mix, but don’t worry: they’re not supposed to add up to 100%. 16–4–8, 12–4–8, and 18-24-6 are commonly recommended for lawn fertilization. It's all about the N-P-K. Because plants need these macronutrients in larger quantities, they can drain their soil of these nutrients over time, sometimes depleting them entirely. Fertilizer Numbers For Lawn Liquid fertilizer can be purchased in three forms. Flowers with big bulbs need a lot of phosphorous to spread their roots deep and wide, but they also need nitrogen to create beautiful flowers and leaves. This fertilizer should be applied early to mid-summer, just before grubs become active in your soil. Each represents one of the primary ingredients within the fertilizer. Buy the right fertilizer for your lawn. Rick is a home design consultant and enthusiast, who's life is consumed by all things home and garden. For example, a common type of all-purpose fertilizer is referred to as 10-10-10. But all those numbers and letters on a bag of fertilizer are confusing. These exist to help you quickly compare products. This is contrary to the popular belief that spring is the best time to fertilize. You won't provide too much of any one nutrient this way. Flowers, like azaleas, need more iron than your lawn, for instance. Working immediately, it will only take between 3-5 days for your lawn to be healthier and brighter. A Homeowner's Guide to Fertilizer: Understanding the Fertilizer Label : All fertilizer labels have three bold numbers. As mentioned above, azaleas need more iron than is typical. Potassium (K) aids in general growth, including root and top growth. If you recall from your math classes, you can divide a percentage number by 100 (by moving the decimal place to spots to the left) to represent it as a decimal instead. “Lawn Fertilizer Numbers – Micro nutrients” Iron, zinc, manganese, copper, molybdenum, boron and chlorine are usually in the soil. 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. The master gardener at the county extension service can help you decipher the results and explain how much of each nutrient you need to apply. So 10% is the same as 0.10, just written differently so it can be used in math equations. A soil test will show if your soil is deficient of any of these elements. The numbers found on our All-Purpose Fertilizer, for example, are 5-5-5. We have assembled a few links about best NPK ratios below. Doc mows the golf putting green and fertilizes. You can round it to 11 pounds for 3000 sq. The Basics of Lawn Fertilizer. Granular fertilizers are recommended if you plan in advance. Choosing the right fertilizer for your lawn in general is not the same as choosing one for creating a bulk amount for potted plants or gardens. These ingredients stand for potassium (K), phosphorous (P) and nitrogen (N). The first number indicates how much nitrogen can be found in a particular fertilizer. (Prevention Tips & More), How to Get Rid of Fungus Gnats - Quickly & Permanently. In some cases, a fertilizer blend is created for a specific type of plant. It’s another important aspect of soil fertility because if your pH is too high or too low, your plants may not be able to use the nutrients you apply, says Esslinger. The right amount of phosphorous means you'll have beautiful flowers, healthy fruits, and potent seeds. Most of the fertilizer is made up of a base, a small host of minerals and vitamins, and those three numbers. The remaining 60% is called "filler," which is usually sand, granular limestone, or a blend of other substrate materials. The fertilizer from Simple Lawn Solutions contains nitrogen and phosphorus, as well as humic and fulvic acid to promote vertical and lateral growth. Your Christmas Dessert Table Needs These Recipes. When it comes to choosing the best winterizer fertilizer it really comes down to personal choice, however, I have always had great results with Espoma EOFW30 Fall Winterizer. These are 3 pounds of nitrogen, 3 pounds of phosphorous, and 9 pounds of potash. All fertilizer bags will have three numbers separated by a dash (-) usually located across the top. All fertilizer companies denote the ratio of the NPK elements in their product in this three-number pattern. These fertilizer numbers are the fertilizer grade, which quickly explain to you the ratios of the three primary nutrients mixed into the blend. In general, fertilizers with 3-1-2, 4-1-2 or 5-1-2 or similar ratios supply nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in the correct proportions for healthy grass growth. Feeds lawn as organic materials break down and release nutrients back into the soil. Number One: 99% of home owners in the United States never get a soil test done. Recommended ratios of N-P-K for lawn fertilizers include 3:1:2 or 4:1:2. https://extension.illinois.edu/lawntalk/planting/choosing_fertilizers_for_home_lawns.cfm Doc mows the golf putting green and fertilizes. This is because vegetables like tomatoes create a large demand of phosphorous and potassium in order to produce many large fruits. These percentages in fertilizer compounds are formulated for everything from asparagus to zinnias. Comparing two products - Product A and Product B: Your lawn is 15,000 ft 2 and you want to apply 1 pound of nitrogen per 1,000 ft 2 . The best fertilizer or lawn care product for your needs may be one that also controls unwanted growth or bugs. The numbers should appear prominently on the winter fertilizer bag, usually on the front label. In most cases, a rate of one pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet is suggested for each fertilizer application to the lawn. Updates on the Bermuda overseeding project and tips about what lawn fertilizer to use and when. The bottom line is you need to have a soil test performed by a professional. Doc cuts the backyard putting green with the reel mower and fertilizes with a cool season fertilizer. This is only to not confuse their customers who are used to seeing this 4th fertilizer number. Too much nitrogen causes plants to focus on their leaves with less emphasis on the flower's bloom or the food product. Quality grass fertilizers usually correct this problem. A balanced fertilizer (with all the same numbers, such as 5-5-5) may be okay for many situations such as flower and vegetable gardens, but only a soil test will tell for sure. In general, lawn fertilizer formulas typically have a formula of 29-3-4. Each represents one of the primary ingredients within the fertilizer. In addition to being great for new lawns, it’s also effective at correcting nutrient deficiencies or repairing an established lawn, … “That’s 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. Each nutrient plays a different role. This includes ones like blood meal, manure, crab meal, cottonseed meal, and feather meal. Fertilizer Overview. Phosphorus is very effective at establishing growth below ground, in the form of healthy root systems. By giving your lawn the best fertilizer for its needs and your goals, you can create a vigorous, sustainable lawn that thrives for many years to come. Weed and feed style turf fertilizers contain herbicides to combat weeds along with the necessary nutrients and minerals lawn … Rick serves as owner and editor for our many content contributors. Lawn fertilizer, organic fertilizer, flower fertilizer – they'll have a different number and each number corresponds to its own value. As is often the case, too much of a good thing may result in something bad. If you buy from a link, we may earn a commission. If you seek out and use zero phosphorous lawn fertilizer when it is available in your growing area, you will not only save money, but protect our water quality and environment. It is important to note that just about all bags of fertilizer have three numbers on the front. Typically, the grades you'll find recommended for the average lawn and garden are: There are others, of course, like the interesting 0-20-20 fertilizer I've talked about. The numbers on the front of your lawn fertilizer bag are a “fertilizer grade”, sometimes called an “N-P-K ratio”, which describes how much Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium it contains. In general, a winter fertilizer for your lawn should have a much higher potassium amount than other fertilizers. They will name special ratios for the type of plant that thrives with that ratio. The Meaning of the Three Numbers on a Weed & Feed Bag. This comes in handy when soil test results recommend pounds of actual nitrogen rather than specific fertilizers. Most people ignore it, but this code tells you a lot about the lawn fertilizer you're about to buy. In general, lawn fertilizer formulas typically have a formula of 29-3-4. These three numbers represent the primary nutrients (nitrogen(N) - phosphorus(P) - potassium(K)). Based on your test results, an application of lime to raise pH or sulfur to lower pH may be recommended. This number is important because it determines how much fertilizer is needed. After TWO YEARS of actual testing and research we have concluded the following. Kennebunkport Is the Most Romantic Small Town, The Real Meaning Behind the Colors of Easter, Here's How to Figure Out the Best Kind of Eggs to Buy, How to Properly Dispose of an American Flag. What Nutrients Are Most Important for a New Lawn? And really, then, what’s the point? If high percentage nitrogen fertilizers are used, then less actual fertilizer product is needed to supply that one pound compared to fertilizers with low percent nitrogen. Because of its higher nitrogen count, it is also going to help with promoting lush and beautiful results in any lawn. It’s best to apply these fertilizers during the warmer growing months, from May through September, depending where you live. of N ÷ 28% N in bag X 100 = 3.57 lbs (rounded to 3.6 lbs) of fertilizer needed to apply 1 lb. Various grades are available because differing types of plants thrive better with a different balance of nutrients. This allows us to take the total weight of the bag and multiply that by the percentage in decimal format to find out exactly how much of a primary nutrient is in the fertilizer mixture. Regular fertilizer contains potassium, phosphorus, and nitrogen, usually in a 1-2-1 ratio. It is important to note that just about all bags of fertilizer have three numbers on the front. If you're mystified by the 3-digit ratio on fertilizer, don't worry! When shopping for fertilizer, you'll find three numbers printed on the label. Get to know what those three numbers on the label of the bag mean. For example, too much nitrogen will grow monster tomato plants, but you may not get any fruit. This is why most lawn fertilizers are high in nitrogen, with formulations like 24-4-12 or 20-2-6. It’s not only a waste of money to add stuff you don’t need—it’s also bad for the plants. These are three of the most important nutrients for your lawn, and different fertilizers will contain different balances of each. Unv of IL Ext Office… “Top quality lawn fertilizers contain slow-release or controlled-release nitrogen. If you are looking for a quick and easy guide for when to fertilize a lawn, late summer and fall are the optimal times for most lawns. I'm going to explain these fertilizer labels up front for those looking for a quick answer, and then we'll dive into more topics surrounding them. This means a 50 pound bag of 6-6-18 fertilizer contains a total of 15 pounds of nutrients. “It’s like the gas pedal,” says John Esslinger, horticulture educator at Penn State Extension. To you, I wish a great harvest! More about us. Use a Slow-Release Fertilizer. Nitrogen is needed for green leafy top growth, but if too much is applied or if it's applied on a hot summer day without watering it in, the lawn may be damaged. These represent the three primary nutrients in fertilizer: nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P), and potassium (K). There are also soluble fertilizers, sometimes called "liquid feed," that provide immediate nutrients (think Miracle-Gro, for instance). And as we know, nobody just makes stuff up on the internet, right? But remember, no lawn is equal and will need its own appropriate mixture. Turf grass is a heavy feeder and requires regular moisture to look its best. For example, if the numbers on the fertilizer are 10-10-10, you can divide 100 by 10, and this will let you know that you need 10 pounds of the fertilizer to add 1 pound of the nutrient to the soil. Filler makes the fertilizer easier to spread evenly. 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