When you see a fertilizer product, it will generally have three numbers prominently displayed on the front of the package. These figures are crucial and reveal a lot about how effective this fertilizer will be.
The numerals stand for nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (N, P, K). This is the order in which they are always listed. It’s the percentage of each component in that package.
A common form of all-purpose fertilizer is called 10-10-10, for example. This is a balanced blend of Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium in equal parts.
Five pounds (or 10%) of a 50-pound bag would be nitrogen, five pounds would be phosphorus, and five pounds would be potassium. The remaining 70% comprises filler or inert components, mainly used to help disseminate the chemicals.
By the end, you’ll know much more about what is 15-15-15 fertilizer used for and what is the best fertilizer for your lawn under stressful conditions? You can also find that too much fertilizer doesn’t help and rather impedes the health of your grass.
What is The Best Fertilizer Ratio For Lawns?
For most lawns, there is an ideal fertilizer ratio. The N-P-K ratio is the proportion of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) in a fertilizer.
Most lawns require a 3:1:3 or 4:1:2 fertilizer ratio, but every lawn is different, and testing your soil with an accurate soil test kit is the best way to figure out exactly what your grass requires and unleash its full potential.
Here you can find more about the three major nutrients in your lawn fertilizer.
The essential nutrients for lawns are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. When you look at a fertilizer bag, the first number you see is the nitrogen percentage (by eight). The numbers for phosphorus and potassium follow.
An 18-6-12 fertilizer, for example, has 18 percent nitrogen. The nitrogen number is incredibly essential since it will show how much fertilizer you need to put on your lawn. Nitrogen supports green plant development, which is the grass blades.
It’s not always the case that nitrogen is the most vital. It would help if you were mindful that too much nitrogen can cause top-growth issues. In most cases, one pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet of lawn is suggested.
You won’t need as much nitrogen fertilizer as you would with a lower nitrogen product. A 3:1, 4:1, or even 5:1:2 N-P-K ratio is safe for most homeowners.
Fertilizers include several forms of nitrogen. This comprises slow-release and controlled-release nitrogen fertilizers. (Find the Best Liquid Fertilizer)
Controlled-release nitrogen is better for your grass, while water-insoluble nitrogen is excellent for delayed-release.
Look at the label in your garden stores to see what kind of nitrogen is in your fertilizer. There should be assured analytical data.
Why Nitrogen for Your Lawn?
This will help you choose the correct lawn fertilizer ratios for your yard. Nitrogen helps your grass generate chlorophyll, which is required for photosynthesis. This promotes leaf growth.
Symptoms of lawn nitrogen shortage include:
- Pale color
- Enhanced weed growth
- Slow growth
- Bald spots
- Yellow spots
- Fewer clippings when mowing
Nitrogen makes your lawn green and grows fast. Your lawn will be thin and pale if it lacks nitrogen.
Why Potassium for Your Lawn?
Potassium (or potash) is required to regulate physiological processes in the grass. It also helps the grass use nitrogen better. Potassium is a macronutrient and one of the three superior numbers on any lawn fertilizer bag.
Why Phosphorus for Your Lawn?
Root development requires phosphorus. A lack of phosphorus may be the reason you’re having problems seeding a fresh lawn.
Phosphorus helps young grass grow strong. Phosphorus is vital for your grass when it is young, developing roots and growing new blades of grass into established lawns.
What is Triple 15 Fertilizer Used For?
An affordable fertilizer for use as a general-purpose preplant plant food on turf, trees, ornamentals, citrus, and vegetables, and as a bloom booster.
The fertilizer formula contains all nutrients in each pellet, preventing streaks because of particle division.
- Is a 1:1:1 ratio including equal proportions of nitrogen, phosphate, and potash, as well as sulfur.
- Good all-around fertilizer for most applications.
- Contains Phosphate and Potash for excellent pre-plant results.
- Nitrogen: 15%
- Phosphate: 15%
- Soluble potash: 15%
- Sulfur: 9%
Is Triple 12 Fertilizer Good for Lawns?
There’s nothing like the first week of the growing season when you don’t have to worry about frost or snow. Your yard will come back to life, but the winter stress has worn and ripped your turf.
A decent fertilizer can make all the difference in making your grass perform beyond your wildest dreams.
Know the Numbers
Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), and Potassium (K) are the three principal components of fertilizers (K). Nitrogen is the first number (N). Nitrogen contributes to the lush development of plants. Phosphorus is the second number (P).
Phosphorus promotes root growth, which is excellent for establishing grass. Potassium is the last number (K). Potassium improves the overall health and vitality of plants; it strengthens them.
Quick-release fertilizers are also available, and depending on the temperature and amount of rainfall, a Quick-release fertilizer can last three to four weeks. Lawns, trees, bushes, and gardens benefit from fertilizers like 12-12-12 and 19-19-19.
Fertilizer increases the nutrient supply in the soil; however, instead of feeding the soil, fertilizer ingredients should satisfy the needs of fast-growing plants. Essential nutrients and helpful microorganisms can be added to premium compost or organic matter, which can be used as a fertilizer to promote the health of plants and lawns. (Find the Pet Friendly Lawn Fertilizers)
Conversely, the more water you give your grass, the more fertilizer it needs. You should fertilize every six weeks if you have a sprinkler system. You can wait another two weeks if you don’t have a sprinkler.
Read the fertilizer label to see if you need water before or after you apply it. Granules require moisture to break down, and some fertilizers require a quarter-inch of water on the grass before application.
When To Fertilize My Lawn?
The optimal time to fertilize your lawn is determined by several factors, the most important of which is whether you have cool-season or warm-season grass.
Cool Season Grass
The most common cool-season grasses are:
- Kentucky bluegrass
- Fine fescue
- Perennial ryegrass
The optimum time to fertilize a cool-season lawn is in the early fall, with Labor Day as a helpful guideline. This gives the grass critical nutrients during the growing season while also preparing it for the winter.
Depending on the condition of your new sod, you can apply fertilizer in two or three treatments over the year.
Fertilizing Warm-Season Grasses
Warm-season grasses thrive in hotter climates, such as those found in the south and west of the United States. In the middle of the summer is when they get the maximum from the growing process.
Common warm-season grasses are:
Late spring, notably late May, is the optimal time to apply fertilizers to warm-season grasses so that they get the nutrients they need in time for their active growing season in the extreme
heat of mid-summer.
Warm-season grasses require far less fertilizer than cool-season grasses, with 3/4 to 1 pound of nitrogen per 1000 square feet of lawn being advised for rapid growth. Before adding grass seed to a new lawn, be sure to fertilize it as it needs time to germinate and make its way to an established lawn.
Before applying fertilizer, make sure your lawn has been watered for three days. You don’t want your clay soil to become soggy that it can’t absorb those vital lawn fertilizers nutrients. Water new grass with a quarter-inch of water after applying fertilizer. Excess fertilizer will be washed off the grass blades and into the soil.
After that, water your lawn as needed rather than on a regular schedule.
What Are the Best Numbers for Fertilizer?
Three large numbers appear on all fertilizer labels. The first number represents nitrogen (N), the second number represents phosphate (P2O5), and the third number represents potash (K) (K2O). The primary nutrients (nitrogen(N), phosphorus(P), and potassium(K) are represented by these three numbers.
Fertilizer grades are created by combining two or more nutrient sources to make a blend, such as ten percent nitrogen, ten percent phosphate, and ten percent potash in a bag of 10-10-10 fertilizer.
Fertilizers with only one of each of the primary nutrients are also available. Ammonium nitrate (33.5-0-0), urea nitrogen (46-0-0), sodium nitrate (16-0-0), and liquid nitrogen are all nitrogen sources (30-0-0). Phosphorus is available as 0-46-0, and potash is available as of 0-0-60 or 0-0-50.
Having your soil analyzed to find your soil type is the best approach to choose a fertilizer grade. A fertilizer grade will be recommended for you based on the results of your soil test. The report also includes a management comment with recommendations for nitrogen supplementation for lawn and new plants or crops.
Typical grades for lawns and gardens include:
The high nitrogen and more potassium content of 15-0-15 fertilizer make it perfect for encouraging healthy lawn growth and color. High phosphorus fertilizer is required for new lawns produced from seed or sod because it promotes root growth. A 10-18-10 fertilizer is best for new grass.
It works best on warm-season grasses, including Bermuda, St. Augustine, Zoysia, and Centipede. Because these grasses develop quickly, they require high quantities of nitrogen in 15-0-15. The high potassium content helps these grasses tolerate disease and drought.
Like lawn grasses, most garden plants thrive on nitrogen and potassium. Vegetable garden fertilizer 15-0-15 can be used all year in vegetable gardens to enrich the soil and encourage plant growth.
Alternatives to Chemical Fertilizers
Chemical fertilizers are one alternative for reviving your lawn’s health. Using a lawnmower with a mulching blade is a great idea. Returning nitrogen and other nutrients to soil via mulching and leaving grass clippings on the lawn.
Another option is organic fertilizer.
- Bone meal
- Blood meal helps reduce phosphorus deficiency
- Fish emulsion
- Worm castings
- Coffee grounds can help treat nitrogen deficiency for overall plant health.
Organic fertilizers often take longer to work and contain fewer nutrients than chemical fertilizers. But they help you prevent over-fertilizing and causing fertilizer burn on your lawn.