Landscaping & Nursery Information for Home Gardeners

Garden Fertilizers

Commercial fertilizers are listed as 6-8-6 or 4-124 or some other series of figures. These rep resent percentages of nitrogen, phosphoric acid and  potash, in the order named. The fist tends to stimulate vegetative growth, the second to strengthen the  stems and the third to improve the fruit. Applications  of three pounds to 100 square feet are liberal for the  above formula; but for weaker mixtures such as  3-84 or 2-14 the doses should be four or five  pounds. 

These chemicals are clean and, especially in the first group, are concentrated, almost odorless, easily  handled and cheaper in proportion to their content of  plant food than are lower priced goods. They must  not be allowed to lodge on foliage for fear of burning. Apply them either before or after digging or  beside the plants as top dressings to be raked in the  surface. Any surplus may be kept until the following  year as they do not deteriorate. 

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Slow-release fertilizers usually are coated with sulfur or a polymer that breaks down based on temperature, moisture, time or a combination of any of the three.

Slow release fertilizers have a low burn potential, making them ideal for fertilizing plants and lawn during hot temperatures.

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See also Animal Waste

Fertilizer Types

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