contain three primary nutrients
- Nitrogen (N)
- Phosphorus (P)
- Potassium (K)
Labels show the ratios of N-P-K (in order) included in the bag of fertilizer.
Since phosphorus is the most important nutrient for root development,
it is the highest number in a bag of a starter fertilizer. Once the roots
are established, nitrogen becomes the most important nutrient for the
growth of the aboveground parts.
Apply a starter fertilizer before turf establishment and incorporate
it to a depth of 2 to 4 inches (5 to 8 cm). If you had your soil professionally
tested, the lab will provide guidance on what to apply.
How much to apply
It is recommended that no more than 1 pound of N and at least 1 pound
of P per 1000 sq. ft. be applied to the root zone at the time of planting.
of starter fertilizers
and application rates
(lb. per 1000 sq. ft.)
The three numbers on a fertilizer label indicate the percentages of nitrogen,
phosphorus, and potassium (in that order) in the formulation. For example
in the table above, applying 20 pounds of a 5-10-5 fertilizer would contain
1 pound of nitrogen, 2 pounds of phosphorus, and 1 pound of potassium.