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What Fertilizer Numbers to Use In Spring For Best Results?

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Is the garden enthusiast in you worried about the environmental damage the fertilizers are likely to cause? Are you sure you are getting the best value for money? Then be sure you stumbled on the right article that throws light on the 3 magic fertilizer numbers to use in spring while enriching your garden.

Fertilizer companies, no doubt, resort to a lot of aggressive marketing to get their products off the shelves. So, it is for your good to know what’s written in that bag before you buy it.

Research data suggests that only 25% of the users know about the 3 numbers and the NPK abbreviation used to show the fertilizer content and ratio.

Read on to get an in-depth idea of what fertilizer numbers to use in spring to give you the best value for money while also minimizing its ill-effects.

Zero in On the Right Fertilizer with These Essentials

Some of you might already be wondering what numbers and alphabets have to do while picking up the ideal fertilizer. Wait, it’s nothing as tough as your algebra equations.

We aim at de-mystifying the notions around this alpha-numeric combination to help you choose the best fertilizer for spring. You will need to know about the following before we could tell you which one is ideal for the spring upkeep of your garden.

  • NPK expansion
  • What the 3-number ratio denotes?
  • Fertilizer bag that has displays the above two

1. What Does the NPK Mean in The Fertilizer Context

Most of us would have studied about soil is school. However, human memory has its limitations and of course, which paid attention to the early science lessons.

NPK expands to form Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potassium, all of which are vital nutrients for plant growth. The abbreviations are the chemical notations of these elements. This is the most common combination in most fertilizers with varying ratios of each.

  • Nitrogen – supplies the required protein and adds green color to the vegetation
  • Phosphorous – promotes faster growth and aids root growth
  • Potassium – checks diseases and facilitates food manufacturing

While all these nutrients are essential for plant growth, it’s the right mix of these three components that spells success for gardeners.

2. What Do the Three Numbers Tell Us?

All fertilizer companies denote the ratio of the NPK elements in their product in this three-number pattern.

It indicates the percentage of NPK like for instance; a 10-20-10 ratio says that a 100-pound bag of fertilizer contains 10 pounds of Nitrogen, 20 pounds of phosphorus, and 10 pounds of potassium of which totals up to 40 pounds of nutrients.

The remaining 60 pounds will constitute filler such as sand, rice hulls, or perlite.

Fertilization - What Fertilizer Numbers to Use In Spring
via Pixabay

3. Fertilizer Information 

Most companies display this information on their fertilizer bags for the benefit of the users. Consider choosing by the cost per pound of nutrients to ensure the best results and value for money.

Like for example, you can select a 50-pound bag with a 10-20-10 ratio, which might be a bit more expensive than a 5-10-5 initially if your soil requires a nutrition boost. Also, consider a soil test to know which one would be the right choice for your soil.

What Fertilizer Numbers to Use In Spring?

While there is no perfect combination of the fertilizer numbers for any given season, you can choose one that best suits your soil based on some observations and your own experience.

Pondering why it is ever important to fertilize your garden in spring?​

It is a perfect way to wake up your garden or lawn from its dormant state after a long and dry winter and prepare it for the growth period by providing all the required nutrition and care.

It also helps in undoing the damage caused by the harsh winter. The steps given will guide you to choose the right combination for your garden.

Step 1

First, assess the state of your lawn or garden. More than the season, it is the state of your yard that decides fertilizer number combination.

  • New sod requires more care – Do not ruin the lawn with a heavy dosage of the fertilizer combination. A small-big-big combination will work wonders for this type of garden.
  • Established Lawns – might require more nitrogen to help the grass retain its color and texture after the winter. Do not go for a combination that contains a high percentage of phosphorous and potassium unless it is essential, as this is a costlier option for you and the environment.
  • Damaged Lawns – If the grass and the soil have borne the brunt of a dry and cold winter, you might want to replenish it with Big-Small-Big combination, which will aid repair and protect it from further damage.

A word of caution would be to avoid going for the combination with high levels of phosphorus as it is not a very eco-friendly option.

Step 2

Go for a good quality fertilizer that suits your soil conditions. For a lawn you can choose the Natural Alternative that is phosphorous free.

Natural Alternative Fall Lawn Fertilizer 21-0-4 - What Fertilizer Numbers to Use In Spring

Step 3

Spraying at the right time is also important to ensure your lawn stays in the best health throughout the year. You can start in early spring to give optimal nourishment for the vegetation.

How To Fertilize Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant?

Fertilizing the plants can be done during the growing season, particularly in spring and also in summer. Regardless of the time, they are growing to new leaves, and they require all the assistance.

You need to fertilizer for fiddle leaf fig, which is in liquid form, every two weeks. Liquid fertilizer is easy to use and is very safe for plants.

You should also always follow the package directions when diluting it with water to avoid accidental misuse. If you’re not careful, you can burn the plant with fertilizer.

In the fall, you will need to reduce the amount of fiddle leaf fig fertilizer every three to four weeks. This allows the plant to prepare for the dormant phase in winter.

Final Thoughts on the numbers

In addition to all the detailing, a few points that deserve more emphasis to make sure you choose the numbers that are ideal for your lawn and budget.

  • Do your homework to assess the condition of your lawn.
  • Invest time in reading the labels and only choose a combination if it is essential.
  • Do not indulge in over or under fertilization.

Always invest in a good quality fertilizer. As an avid gardener, I hope the research and efforts have helped like-minded people benefit from this tutorial.

Share your experiences or concerns by writing to us in the comments sections. Also, share with us your gardening success stories so that we can together make our planet a greener and eco-friendlier place.


Monday 10th of May 2021

Thank you for the useful information! Finally, I found out what these mysterious numbers and abbreviations mean =) I didn't think much about the composition of the fertilizer before. After I grew a rare grass on the pasture, I thought, "Maybe this is the effect of cheap fertilizer?!"