NPK fertilizers, What the heck does that mean?

March 2, 2010 at 6:05 pm Leave a comment

NPK, what the heck does that mean to a novice gardener? What does it stand for and what does it do?
For starters, let’s define them:
N- Nitrogen: the best known fertilizer used in lawns around the world. This is the stuff that makes the leaves greener and healthier, and promotes leaf and stem growth through photosynthesis of the plant. That means it works off the sun.

P- Phosphorus: this one will help develop stronger roots and root systems. It also affects the amount of blooms, and the size of a bloom. You would use a fertilizer high in P when you are establishing a new garden or plant.
K- Potassium:( I know, it doesn’t match, you will have to take it up with the chem. Board.) This fertilizer is like your immunity booster. It helps ward off disease, handle drought, protect from severe weather changes, as well as root growth stimulation.

So what do the numbers with the letters on a fertilizer bag mean? Generally it is the amount of each type of fertilizer in each. Generally, the numbers do not add up to 100, as there are other fertilizers in smaller quantities, and fillers that help the product work effectively. The numbers will always reflect the NPK order all the time.
Best combo for lawns:
24-8-4 Expect to cut your lawn regularly
Best general application for gardens:
10-10-10
Understanding your gardens fertilizing needs:
1. Conduct a soil test (easily purchased at any garden centre)
2. Add fertilizer contributions accordingly
3. Use the resources at your garden centre
4. Always water plants before fertilizing
CAUTION:
ALWAYS WATER YOUR PLANTS/LAWNS/GARDENS BEFORE FERTILIZING! A DRY ROOT WILL BE SHOCKED IF THERE IS NOT ENOUGH MOISTURE IN THE PLANTS ROOT SYSTEM, AND THE PLANT MAY DIE IF THIS IS THE CASE.

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Entry filed under: Annuals, Autumn/Fall, Fertilizers, Gardens, How To, Lawns/Grass, Perennials, Shrubs, Spring, Water. Tags: , , , , .

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