How do you choose the best lawn fertilizer when there are literally hundreds of fertilizer products to choose from?
What do the fertilizer numbers mean?
Are organic lawn fertilizers safer and more eco-friendly than chemical fertilizer? Is there a pet safe lawn fertilizer?
The ideal way to choose the best fertilizer is to start by understanding your lawn's nutrient needs and then pick a product that can supply those needs.
Nitrogen is the mineral element that affects turfgrass growth and development the most. It is required in the largest amounts and fertilizer recommendations are usually based on pounds of nitrogen per 1000 ft2.
Under this condition, the best lawn fertilizer would be NPK fertilizer.NPK fertilizer refers to the three elemental nutrients found in common garden fertilizer: nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K), or potash. Also seen as N-P-K, the hyphens are representative of the percentages of each element within the fertilizer. These three major elements are important nutrients for overall plant health, and depending on the type of plant species, will have a varying effect on how well a garden will thrive.
At any home improvement center, there are a variety of choices when it comes to NPK fertilizers. The numbers seen on the bags represent, in order, the percentages of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium contained within the mixture. A bag of 10-20-10 fertilizer will contain 10% nitrogen, 20% phosphorous, and 10% potassium.
Nitrogen functions as a means for the plant to produce more chlorophyll. This will result in abundant growth and allow for a dark green color. Many NPK lawn fertilizers have a high content of nitrogen in order to help produce lush, green grass.
Phosphorus aids in the initial growth of plants by contributing to root development and healthy flowering. Higher concentrations of phosphorus can be helpful when planting a new garden or sowing a lawn.