Understanding Garden Fertilizer Numbers – LawnCareNut


At this time I’m choosing up with the sequence I began on DIY garden care and understanding how a lot it prices. Within the first put up I talked about granular fertilizer value comparisons and confirmed you that should you simply search for the bottom value, you really may find yourself paying extra.

At this time we’re going to take a distinct method and have a look at what’s really within the bag and decide how that will impression the price of an utility.

In that first put up I confirmed you a Milorganite various (a biosolid) referred to as ProCare. That is Lowe’s reply to the MILO scarcity. The evaluation for the ProCare fertilizer is 4-3-0.

What Do The Numbers On The Bag Stand For?
If you see the three numbers on a bag of fertilizer, that is named its “evaluation.” These numbers seem on all garden fertilizers they usually point out the quantity of N-P-Okay (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium) contained in the bag. N-P-Okay are macronutrients.
For this fertilizer, 4-3-0 evaluation means:

Nitrogen – 4%
Phosphorous – 3%
Potassium – 0%

If you see 3 numbers on a bag of fertilizer, these 3 numbers all the time symbolize N-P-Okay.

The bag of ProCare is 36lbs. If you see the 4% nitrogen, that implies that 4% of the whole lot within the bag is nitrogen. Because the bag is 36lbs that implies that 1.44lbs of that bag are nitrogen.
36 x .04 = 1.44
We additionally know that 3% of the bag is phosphorous or 1.08 lbs.
36 x .03 = 1.08

There may be another stuff on this bag should you learn the label, together with iron and calcium.

The remainder of the bag is different natural matter or “filler” supplies. Within the case of this specific fertilizer, referred to as a “biosolid,” the prills within the bag are what’s left after microbes devour sewage after which get baked at excessive temps.

These baked microbes have an evaluation of 4-3-0 plus some iron and calcium. I’ll discuss extra concerning the sources of the vitamins in one other put up developing. (natural/pure vs artificial). For now, simply know that this ProCare fertilizer is a pure fertilizer with an evaluation of 4-3-0 and people numbers point out percentages.

Software Requirements
On this planet of DIY garden care, we have now a typical we use whereby we speak about utility quantities by way of 1,000 sq ft increments. That is the usual unit of measurement that the majority garden care merchandise will use. That’s why you will note language reminiscent of “covers 15,000 sq ft” or “utility price 3lbs/1,000 sq ft” on luggage of fertilizer.

You’ll be able to see on this photograph right here, the Flagship fertilizer has an evaluation of 24-0-6 and it covers 15,000 sq ft. You are able to do math or learn the label additional and also you’ll see that the appliance price is 3lbs/1,000 sq ft. That’s telling you to use 3lbs of Flagship fertilizer to every 1,000 sq ft space of your garden.

In relation, return up and have a look at the ProCare label the place you see it covers 2,500 sq ft. It might take 6 luggage of ProCare to cowl the identical quantity of garden area as 1 bag of Flagship.

We are going to get into that in additional element down under, however for now, as you progress ahead in your garden care journey, get used to calculating your product particulars in relation to what number of “1,000 sq ft areas” you have got in your garden.

Garden Measuring – Studying Your Land

When you measure your garden, simply take into consideration the brand new info that opens as much as you. If you happen to measure your garden and discover that it’s 5,000 sq ft whole, you then now know {that a} bag of fertilizer that covers 15,000 sq ft will really get you 3 full functions (Flagship) and also you additionally understand {that a} bag of fertilizer that solely covers 2,500 sq ft would require 2 full luggage simply to get one utility executed (ProCare)

See how that works in understanding your funds towards what you might be spending?

We use the 1,000 sq ft customary for lots of different issues too – weed killers, fungicides, even shopping for a garden mower, relies on understanding the scale of your garden and what number of 1,000 sq ft areas you might be caring for. Unlocking this one piece of knowledge opens up a complete new stage of understanding in your total garden care technique even should you don’t understand it but.

It’s one factor to only go and purchase a bag of fert, throw it down after which hope for one of the best. That’s what most DIYers do and it’s simply effective – the Scotts Firm has constructed a really giant enterprise on this mannequin.

However if you wish to know just a little extra information concerning the “why” behind issues, then that’s whenever you begin making use of some math to the weather contained in the bag and that begins by understanding your garden measurement.

Now it’s time to dig just a little deeper – deeper inexperienced that’s!

Nitrogen Drives The Bus

Once I arrange my garden applications, I middle them round nitrogen. That’s and all the time has been my method. I care concerning the different parts that the garden wants too, however for me, nitrogen is my place to begin. This has labored for me, however extra importantly, it’s labored for 10s of hundreds of DIYers who’ve adopted my methods for effectively over a decade.

Nitrogen is what turns the grass inexperienced and that’s what individuals who use my methods need: a greener garden. In my expertise, a “good shot” of nitrogen that can flip your garden inexperienced goes to be proper round .75 lbs of nitrogen per 1,000 sq ft.

You’ll be able to go lighter than that, and you’ll go heavier and you’ll nonetheless be okay, however for me, and what I do, one can find that I normally suggest nitrogen photographs to be ¾ lbs per 1,000 sq ft and through progress intervals, I wish to push ¾ lbs/N/1,000 each 4-5 weeks.

Bear in mind above how I informed you that the ProCare Pure listed has a 4-3-0 evaluation which implies it’s 4% nitrogen? Simply to assessment, that implies that of the 36lbs of “stuff” in that bag, 4% of it’s nitrogen.

So let’s have a look at the really helpful utility price on that product and see simply how a lot nitrogen it’s going to present us:

You will discover out the “utility price” in a few alternative ways. A method is to learn the label and generally, the speed will likely be listed which you’ll see right here is 14.4 lbs per 1,000 sq ft.
Which means you’d unfold 14.4 lbs of the fertilizer throughout every 1,000 sq ft space of your garden.

One other technique to get the appliance price is to return to the entrance of the bag and discover 2 items of data.

Bag Weight

These two issues will likely be listed on the entrance of each bag of garden fertilizer you purchase. Within the case of ProCare we see the bag covers as much as 2,500 sq ft (referred to as the bag price) and the burden of the bag is 36lbs.

Watch this math.
36/2.5 = 14.4

See what I did there?

The bag weighs 36 lbs and it might cowl 2,500 sq ft.
That implies that every 1,000 sq ft space would then get 14.4 lbs of product utilized to it.

NOTE: That is the place spreader settings come into play. Usually the spreader settings will ship that utility price in case you are to make your utility in a single single cross with a broadcast spreader.

Kilos on the Floor

Now we are able to begin to perceive how this utility price seems in relation to the nitrogen content material as a result of bear in mind, “nitrogen drives the bus!”

All of this math is nice however none of it issues if we aren’t getting sufficient nitrogen to point out the largest change within the shade of the garden.

You’ll do not forget that I usually suggest .75lbs of nitrogen per 1,000 sq ft of garden space in my fertilizer suggestions. I like to recommend you give your garden this ¾ lbs/N/1,000 abut each 4-5 weeks throughout progress intervals. Let’s see what the ProCare goes to ship do you have to select to sling it:

Software Charge: 14.4lbs / 1,000 sq ft
Nitrogen Evaluation: 4%
14.4 x .04 = .576

Which means should you apply the really helpful price of the ProCare, you’ll be getting nearly .6lbs of nitrogen per 1,000 sq ft.
So principally, just a little over ½ lb of nitrogen per 1,000 sq ft.

That’s okay but it surely actually isn’t the ¾ lbs/N/1,000 that I’d be in search of.

Let’s evaluate that to the 24-0-6 Flagship fertilizer that we have now on Yard Mastery.

Software price: 3lbs/1,000 sq ft
Nitrogen Evaluation: 24%
3 x .24 = .72
That’s very near that ¾ lbs/N/1,000 that I’m in search of! And naturally it’s, it’s my fertilizer lol

However what else can we study from this?

First off is that you’d be saving a TON of cash shopping for the Flagship fertilizer in case your aim was to get down a very good shot of nitrogen. Test this out:

ProCare 4-3-0
Value: $14
Protection: 2,500 sq ft
Value per 1,000: $5.60

Value for a 5,000 sq ft garden: $28 (2 luggage)

Flagship 24-0-6
Value: $55 (contains supply)
Protection: 15,000 sq ft
Value per 1,000: $3.67

Value for five,000 sq ft garden: $18.35 (nonetheless have sufficient left for 2 extra apps)


That’s alot of math however I promise you, it’s not that tough when you grasp it. In case you are confused, return and skim this put up once more and get out a calculator and begin messing with the numbers till it clicks for you.

Listed below are the fundamentals in abstract:
“Nitrogen Drives The Bus”

24-0-6 Flagship
Value: $55
Bag Weight: 45 lbs
Protection: 15,000 sq ft
Software Charge: 3 lbs/1,000 sq ft
Value per 1,000 sq ft: $3.67
Value for five,000 sq ft Garden: $18.35

Kilos on the Floor – Nitrogen : .72 lbs/1,000

ProCare 4-3-0
Value: $14
Bag Weight: 45 lbs
Protection: 2,500 sq ft
Value per 1,000: $5.60
Value for a 5,000 sq ft garden: $28 (2 luggage)

Kilos on the Floor – Nitrogen : .58 lbs/1,000