What Do Those Fertilizer Numbers Actually Mean?

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

Nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (N, P, K) are what the numbers refer to. They are always listed in this order. Each number represents the percentage within that package of each component.

Nitrogen, the first chemical listed, helps with plant growth above ground. Nitrogen promotes the green growth of foliage and provides ingredients to produce lush green lawns. Spring and summer lawn fertilizers frequently have a high percentage of nitrogen because of these qualities.

Phosphorus, the second chemical listed, is very effective at establishing the growth below ground, in the form of a healthy root system. It helps produce healthy vigorous root systems to help your turf sustain itself throughout the winter. Many winterizer fertilizers have a high percentage of phosphorus because of this.

Potassium, the last chemical listed, is important for overall plant health. Potassium has the ability to help build strong cells within the plant tissue. In turn, your turf withstands various stresses, such as heat, cold, pests and disease. Again, many winterizer fertilizers have a high percentage of potassium because of this quality.

Remember, you can burn turf by over fertilizing, and damage the surrounding soil as well. Always remember that less is better. If your soil is rich is organic matter, it should have all the nutrients it needs!

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