What Does It All Mean?

It’s the time of year that most of us are suffering from severe cases of cabin and Spring fever.  We’re ready to dig our fingers (and toes!) into the garden soil and grass. We’re dreaming of perfectly green -golf course type lawns and overflowing gardens.  When Spring is here, inevitably, the questions arise…What fertilizer should I use?  What do all these numbers mean?…All these letters… NPK and PH, Why are they important?…I don’t understand it!


Before you just throw on any old fertilizer in despair, Martin’s is here to help! Fertilizer matters!

First off, all fertilizers have 3 bold numbers. The first number is the amount of Nitrogen (N), the next number is the amount of Phosphorus (P) and the third number is the amount of Potassium/Potash (K).

Example: A bag of Martin’s 10-10-10 Vegetable Grower is 10% Nitrogen (N), 10% Phosphorus (P), and 10% Potash or Potassium (K).

What is so special about N, P, and K?  They are known as “Primary Nutrients” and are essential to plant health. So, more is better…right?  Not necessarily.  Different plants require different nutrients.

That is where a soil test comes into the equation. Whether planting lawn or garden it is important to know what level your soil nutrients are at.  That way you know how best to feed the crop you are intending to grow. Also, a soil test will determine the soil PH.  PH is the acidity or alkalinity of your soil. Imbalanced PH also affects plant growth.  Too high or too low can hinder the absorption of certain soil nutrients, resulting in plants that will not properly grow! So you could be adding fertilizer to no avail!!

All of this sound confusing?  Don’t worry!  We’re here to help! We’re armed with knowledge and experience to help you achieve the best looking lawn or garden you’ve ever had!

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