Normally fertilizers have three (3) main numbers on the bag. Those numbers represent the percentage (%) of that specific nutrient. Also, those numbers represent Nitrogen (N) – Phosphorus (P) – Potassium (k). To illustrate 10 – 10 -10 would mean the following: 10% Nitrogen (N) per weight of bag, 10% Phosphorus (P) per weight of bag and 10% Potassium (K) per weight of bag.
What does this really mean for the plants? Nitrogen (N) helps with the growth of the stems, leaves, and fruits, and spring and summer are optimum times to fertilize with this nutrient. Phosphorus (P) helps plants withstand the stresses often associated with the heat, as well encourages blooming and root growth. Potassium (K) or potash aids in the overall health of the plant and assists with disease resistance. It also helps encourage root growth essential for the life of the plant. These are the macro nutrients that all plants need and there are also a host of micro nutrients that the plants will need. These vary in each formula and brand of fertilizer.
In the fall, a good fertilizer would be one that has no nitrogen (N), a small or no phosphorus (P) content, and a higher potassium (K) content. Some examples are:
0 – 2 – 5
0 – 0 – 7
0 – 0 – 4 or some variation of these
Apply fall lawn fertilizer 2 to 3 weeks before the ground freezes. The best time of day to fertilize is in the morning or early evening. Don’t forget to check the weather forecast before you fertilize. You certainly don’t want a heavy rain to wash it all away. Before applying fertilizer, make sure you mow the lawn.
Fertilizer application can be very confusing and frustrating as there are many variables to consider such as type of plants, amount of water needed, and the type of soil . Should you have any questions or need help, Solomon’s Landscape & Design is a phone call away.