What do the Numbers on Fertilizer Mean?


For a strong and healthy yard, you’ll
need to apply fertilizer throughout the year. But one of the most common
questions asked is “what did the numbers on the front of the bag mean?” And this is
a good question, so in this video I’ll show you what the numbers stand for and
what they mean for you and your lawn. Hi, I’m Jason with Solutions Pest and Lawn.
So you’ve probably noticed that bag after bag of fertilizer have those
numbers somewhere on the bag. So what are they? These numbers represent the
fertilizer’s guaranteed analysis; it gives you the percentage of three key elements
by weight in the bag.These numbers are also referred to as the NPK ratio. The
first number is Nitrogen. Nitrogen! The second number is Phosphorus. Phosphorus!
And the third number: Potassium! These three essential ingredients are used in
all fertilizers. It gets the term NPK ratio from each element’s symbol on the
periodic table. And will always be arranged in that order. So what does that
really mean for you? Well it’s important to note that each element serves a
specific function for your lawn or your ornamental plants. The nitrogen is
responsible for the greening of the plant and the shoot growth. If you’ve
seen a neighbor’s lawn looking really green, he’s probably using something with
high nitrogen. The phosphorus helps with root growth and the establishment of new
plants. So say you’ve just planted a new ornamental bush. Well you would want
something that’s high in the middle number or phosphorous to help the roots
take hold. And potassium is for the overall health and strength of the plant. Potassium will help toughen up the plant cells and water absorption to keep your
lawn or plants strong. When picking out a fertilizer for your lawn, it’s important
to know what your lawn needs or which nutrients it’s lacking. It’s generally
recommended that you perform a soil test every year to see what your turf might
need. And keep in mind that regional climates, time of year, and grass type
will all factor into what type of fertilizer that you will need. So for
instance, in this bag of our Summer Pro Grow fertilizer, we have 19 percent nitrogen, 4
percent phosphorus, and 10 percent potassium in a 50-pound bag. This ratio
is great for warm season grasses like St. Augustine during the summertime. Or
say you’re in California or Georgia and you have a fescue lawn. Then you’re
probably going to want something high in nitrogen such as our 34 -3 -3. Or maybe
you’re going to do an application of fertilizer
during the Fall. Then you’re gonna want something high in phosphorus because
it’s gonna nourish the turf as it goes dormant. What you don’t want to use is a
fertilizer high in nitrogen because I could just end up feeding fungus like
brown patch or weeds like clover . And these are some examples of things to
consider when you’re picking a fertilizer out for your own lawn. And the
good news is that most fertilizer labels will give you the information on what
you’ll need for your lawn. It will also tell you how much fertilizer you will
need to apply to get one pound of nitrogen per thousand square feet. This
bit of info will also help you calculate how much fertilizer you’re going to need
depending on how many applications you’re gonna make throughout the year . So
remember always check that label. This should be a good launching point for
knowing and deciding what type of fertilizers you’re going to need for
your lawn.But remember lawn care is more than just putting down fertilizers;
you’re also gonna have to combat weed growth with pre and post emergent weed
killers. You can find our weed control videos in our lawn care playlist. A link
for those will be in the description below. If you have any questions leave a
comment in a comment section below and don’t hesitate to reach out to us by
stopping by one of our stores sending us an email giving us a call or visiting
our website and if you’re new to our channel subscribe for more how-to and
product videos my name is Jason Baker with Solutions Pest and Lawn, ask us how then do it yourself hi I’m Jason I think you’re
swatting small nice done don’t read oh yeah that doesn’t go any blooper reels

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