What do the numbers on a bag of Fertilizer mean?
There are 3 separate numbers on a bag of fertilizer, each of these numbers represents a percentage of the three major nutrients that provides healthy plant growth. The first number is Nitrogen (N). Nitrogen promotes top growth in lawns. Using a fertilizer with a lot of Nitrogen in it will make your grass grow more rapidly.
Fertilizers with high percentages of Nitrogen in them are typically used in the spring time when grass is actively growing. Using a high Nitrogen mix in the middle of the summer in a drought can cause the turf to become “burned out”. Timing means everything when it comes to using high doses of Nitrogen on your lawn.
The 2nd number on a bag of fertilizer is the percentage of Phosphorus (P) that is in the product. Phosphorus helps with root development. High Phosphorus mixtures are common in starter fertilizers. These are typically used on newly planted grass that needs an extra boost to take off and become an established turf. Phosphorus also helps fill in patchy areas in the lawn by promoting root development to spread throughout the soil.
The 3rd number on a bag of fertilizer is the percentage of Potassium (K) found in a product. Potassium guards against diseases in the turf and helps with drought and cold tolerances. It also promotes root development and helps with the process of photosynthesis.
With Fertilizing at the right times of the year and proper Lawn Mowing you will start to see your lawn looking healthier. Other ways of achieving a successful lawn would be to dethatch the lawn and to aerate the lawn as well as over seeding it.