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Understanding fertilizer
by the numbers

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To get the best results you possibly can from your fertilizers you should try to understand the numbers, I hope the following helps.

Have you ever wondered what the 5-10-5,  the 20-20-20, or the 0-46-0  stands for? If your like most people you do not understand these numbers, and guess when it comes to choosing the right plant food.

To help you understand how to choose the right fertilizer try to remember this little saying. "UP, DOWN, ALL AROUND"... Let me explain. The first number is nitrogen this effectively pushes up growth or foliage as you know it. The second number or middle number is phosphorous and  concentrates on down growth or root development. This number also has an added benefit for promoting more flowers, hence the saying "root and bloom". The third number, potassium has beneficial effects all around, another words it offers a little bit of everything the plant needs to stay healthy.

Now that you know what the numbers do, you need to use logic and common sense when applying fertilizer. For example, if you are going to repot, transplant, or disturb a plants root system, make absolutely sure the middle number is the highest and the first number is a minimal amount, something like 5-50-17. This will insure you promote new root growth while applying a minimum amount of demand on the plants desire to grow new foliage. If you have a well established plant and want to see it get bigger concentrate on a more basic fertilizer that has a higher first number. The fertilizer chosen should offer the specifics the plant needs.

One of our favorite fertilizers is Schultz plant food, it is a liquid concentrate and works on a wide variety of plantings. For promoting bloom or root we'd prefer a Peters product called Blossom Booster. For best results use a couple of different types of fertilizers like maybe fish emulsion as an organic and Schultz, then alternate them between feedings.

As I said, I hope all this helps, and remember read the products directions and never over feed as this can be worse than not feeding at all.

Happy Growing !!!


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