Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Tips for understanding Garden Fertilizers



There are many choices when it comes to plant fertilizers. You can buy liquid, granular, water-soluble, slow-release, organic, non-organic, so how do you know you’re giving your plants what they need when it comes to nutrition.
What do all of these fertilizers have in common? Regardless of the type of fertilizer or the size of the bag, the 3 basic ingredients – Nitrogen, Phosphate and Potash will always be listed prominently on the label. An easy way to remember what the numbers do is to think “up, down and all around”.
The first number on the label is Nitrogen. Nitrogen helps the plant with growth above ground (Up).
The second number, Phosphate promotes roots (Down). In addition,
Phosphate helps your plant bloom and produces more fruit. The last number – Potash is important because it benefits the whole plant (All Around).
We’ll use Happy Frog’s Fruit & Flower granular fertilizer as an example. The numbers on this 4 pound bag of Fruit & Flower are 5-8-4.  The middle number is larger than the first number, so this fertilizer will help your plants get bigger roots and more fruit. Finally, liquid and granular fertilizers are both effective. You can use either one or both throughout the growing season. Remember, no amount of fertilizer will make up for poor quality soil. Take the time to amend your soil every year and you’ll get the most out of your fertilizers.



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