MOM Tip: Making Sense Of Fertilizer Labels & NPK Numbers

fertilizersMOM Tip: Are you as confused as I when looking at fertilizers? What do the 3 numbers mean and what is best for my lawn?

Tip Junkie is helping us with interpreting these numbers.

  • The first number (N) represents the percentage of Nitrogen content in the product.
  • The second number (P) represents the percentage of Phosphorus compound present.
  • The third number (K) represents the percentage of Potassium compound present.

Which plant benefits from what:

Leafy: (such as spinach, lettuce, cabbage) appreciates a boost of nitrogen (N). Encourages foliage growth and green color.

Fruiting: (such as tomatoes, melons, squash) appreciates a boost of phosphorus (P). Believed to also promote root and bloom growth.

Root: (such as garlic, carrots, radishes) appreciates a boost of potassium (K). Helps strengthen cellular growth (ie. strong branches) and build stress resistance (from disease, drought, etc.).

Aside from purchasing commercial fertilizers, there are also plant and animal matter you can use instead, here’s a sample:

  • Nitrogen: blood meal, cotton seed meal, fish meal, soy bean meal, grass clippings
  • Phosphorus: bone meal (steamed), rock phosphate
  • Potassium: kelp meal, wood ash, granite dust, greensand
  • Legumes: (such as beans, peas) will put nitrogen back into the soil.

When to use what? Nitrogen (N) content is beneficial at the start of the growing season, Phosphorus (P) is beneficial once the plant begins fruiting or blossoming and Potassium (K) is good to use in the Fall to help plants get ready for winter.

Click here  to read this full tip from Tip Junkie.

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