How to Read a Fertilizer Label

how to read a fertilizer label

Those who like gardening need to use fertilizers all the time. But while buying them several people face difficulties since there are only a series of numbers, written on the bags. But once you know how to read the label you would not found it difficult any more to read and understand about the content of the fertilizer bags. Below given are some tips for the same.

how to read a fertilizer labelN-P-K Percentage

The primary string of numbers on the fertilizers’ bags signifies the percentage of the chemical component containing nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium, in that order. These are the three main plant nutrients, and all fertilizers have them in one series or the other.

  • If the bag contains a number series saying 10-20-10, for example, it will necessarily mean that if you have 100 pounds of fertilizer, there is 10 pounds of Nitrogen, 20 pounds of Phosphorous and 10 pounds of Potassium in it, while the remaining 50 pounds consists mainly of inactive elements.

Why do you need to know the N-P-K Ratio

  1. Each of the gardens has their own soil quality and their specific requirements. First and foremost, you need to understand this, and shop for the fertilizers accordingly. This is the first step of fertilizer shopping.
  2. Next you need to know the importance of all three elements of the primary number series. What does N-P-K actually do?
  • Nitrogen (N) is required for the growth of plants, particularly that of the foliage. However too much Nitrogen would result in a barren tree, having no flowers or fruits whatsoever.
  • Phosphorous (P) on the other hand is responsible for the root growth, stimulates blooming of flowers and increases the plant’s power to absorb more water and other nutrients.
  • Potassium (K) is known to have different enzymes which help in the basic health and the growth of the plants.
  1. Other than these, the fertilizer contains other micro nutrients, such as Zinc, Iron etc. these are not mentioned in the primary string, but do look for their percentages in the bags.
  2. Finally, it might also be a good idea to know that if the fertilizer is organic or conventional. The problem with the conventional fertilizers is that they do not improve the soil quality like the organic ones, and even harm plants if used in higher quantity.

It is imperative to know the needs of your plants before you buy a fertilizers, since different plants have different requirements for their growth.