Those Three Little
commercial Fertilizers there is usually
the same question that comes up first.
And that is what are those three numbers
always listed on every package? Let me
begin by saying that those three numbers
are required to ALWAYS mean the same
thing, and to ALWAYS be listed in the
same order every time. The First
number indicates the percentage of
Nitrogen(N). The second
number,the percentage of
Phosphorus(P). And the third
number, the percentage of
Potassium(K) or also called
Potash. For example: a 5-10-10
listed fertilizer is 5 percent Nitrogen,
10 percent Phosphorus, and 10 percent
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These are the three
Major Nutrients needed for healthy plant
growth, (they are often called the
macronutrients). Plants need these
three nutrients in relatively large
quantites. And here are there
(Works along with Nitrogen).
information about these and the other
Nutrients needed in plant growth, visit
my page on
Types of Fertilizers
After you decide to
feed your plants,you're then faced with
the many,many kinds of fertilizers at
the nursery and garden centers.Below is
a list and short explanation of the
different types of Fertilizers that are
out there to choose from.
fertilizer that contains all three of
the primary nutrients-
Potash - is a complete fertilizer. The
garden term complete has its
basis in laws and regulations that apply
to the fertilizer industry.It does NOT
however mean that the fertilizer
literally contains everything a plant
These fertilizers are the most
common kind.They are commonly sold in
boxes or bags, and most are partially
soluble.They will supply nutrients over
a longer period of time than some
fertilizers but still not as long as
This type can also supply special
formulations, such as azalea food or
rose food to target certain types of
the name implies, these fertilizers are
sprayed over a plants leaves. They
contain nutrients that plant leaves can
absorb directly. Nutrients absorbed
through leaves are said to have a quick
effect on certain plants. However, do
NOT apply foliar fertilizers in hot
weather because they could possibly
damage the leaves.
fertilizers are dry, some come in a
liquid form. Some come ready-to-use and
some require mixture with water,
(Miracle-Gro). This type is usually the
best type for instant results. A lot of
professional growers prefer this type
because it can be easily injected into
irrigation systems.On a per-nutrient
basis, liquid fertilizers are more
expensive than most dry fertilizers.
fertilizers release the nutrients at
slow,specific rates in specific
conditions. Some are coated with
"resins" that respond to types of soil
moisture. And some are coated with a
"sulfur" substance that is slowly acted
upon by soil microorganisms until
released. Some can release their
nutrients for as long as eight months.
Slow-release fertilizers are very useful
for container plants that otherwise
would need frequent fertilizing.
have nutrients derived from something
that was once alive. Examples of this
type are: Blood Meal, Bone Meal, Fish
Emulsion, and Manure.Nutrients in
organic fertilizers are made available
to the plant roots after breakdowns in
the soil microorganisms. Activity of
these microorganisms is faster in the
summer when the soil is the warmest.
Usually, organic fertilizers contain
significant amounts of only one of the
major nutrients; for example, Bone Meal
contains only Phosphorus.And Blood Meal
contains only Nitrogen.
FERTILIZERS FOR VARIOUS PLANTS
Below are some
personal recommendations for Fertilizers
to use for different kinds of plants.
Remember however, depending on the
specific species there will be many
exceptions to this list.
Granular; supplemented by liquid soluble two weeks after planting.
Granular; 8-8-8 or similar, applied at planting time.
Slow-release or liquid soluble.
Organic; applied in fall, supplemented if needed by liquid soluble.
Organic;applied in fall at least one month prior to planting. Can supplement with granular or liquid soluble if needed.
Organic; applied in fall, supplemented when needed with liquid soluble or granular rose food.
Granular; 27-7-14 or similar,preferably slow-release or an organic high-nitrogen fertilizer.
LINKS TO OTHER PAGES
Flowers of the Month
of Vegetable Seeds
Scoville Scale for HOT Peppers
Hardiness-Zone & Heat-Zone Maps