Summer is fast approaching and my garden service company is getting ready to fertilize the gardens of my clients. This short guide should help you to better understand which fertilizer to use.
Bags of fertilizer are labelled by the manufacturer and give a basic analysis of the contents. Below is a brief description so that you can easily understand what the bag contains.
The formula will be in numbers such as 7:1:3 (21) The numbers stand for the ratio of chemicals in the content of the bag followed by the concentration given in percentage. The sequence always remains the same, thus the first number is nitrogen (N). The second is phosphate (P), and the third is always potassium (K). It never changes.
The purpose of nitrogen is that it makes the grass grow green and UP. The purpose of phosphate is that it makes the root system grow DOWN and healthy. And the purpose of potassium is that it makes the grass propagate or grow AROUND. You can apply it this way: If you want the grass to grow UP and green, you want a high first number. If you want to build a hearty root system, you want a high second DOWN number. If you want the grass especially newly established grass-to propagate, you want a high ALL AROUND third number. For example: 3-2-3. You will get some greening, but the roots and propagation will be higher. 3-2-1. will give you lots of greening, some roots, and a little propagation. Fertilizer with a high first number will give the grass a quick shot of green-up.
This type of fertilizer is called "balanced". (Balance refers to the ratio of chemicals in the fertilizer. For example if you look at your lawn, it needs three to five times more nitrogen as phosphorus and twice as much potassium as phosphorus. Thus a 7:1:3 would be ideal, as it would green the grass with a lot of upward growth, only build a little on the root system and a fair amount of sideways propagation.
All fertilizers are numbered in the same way. If you have houseplants, for example, the fertilizer for them will be ranked by number; 6-8-8 (for example)-high in phosphate and potash for roots and plant development; low in greening.
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