What Do the Numbers on Fertilizer Mean


What Do the Numbers on Fertilizers Mean? Transcript

Hi, I’m Barb. Today we’re going to talk about one of our most frequently asked questions, which is what are the numbers on the fertilizer bags? A good example is our All Grow fertilizer. You can see 18-18-18, the ratio of the major nutrients is the same going across, just like if you had a 10-10-10. When the numbers going across are different, say the middle number is higher, that’s when you need to know what the major elements are and if that fertilizer is right for your needs.

The first number is nitrogen, and basically that promotes leafy growth. The second number is phosphorus and basically that’s going to promote healthy roots, fruits & flowers. The third number is potassium and that give the plant overall vigor and helps the plant transition through the seasons. Based on what we know about nutrition you can look at your fertilizer now and figure out what kind of growth they’re going to promote.

All Grow, since the numbers are the same across the board, will promote overall health and vigor. When you look at our All Bloom fertilizer your middle number is higher, that’s your phosphorus. That’s going to promote roots, but also fruits and flowering, so this is our favorite fertilizer for container gardening. And then this one we have here is our daffodil fertilizer. You can see her the last number is higher, this is 5-10-20. The last number is potassium so your bulbs are going to get a nice food to make it through the cold winter and transition into spring.

If you have trouble remembering the nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium and what they do, there’s a simple way to remember it. Nitrogen is a spring fertilizer, something you put on your lawn. Phosphorus is a summer fertilizer so you have more fruit and flowers. Your fall fertilizer, like our daffodil fertilizer, will have the higher number at the end, the potassium. Spring, summer, fall when you think of N - P - K.

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