Fertilizers provide nutrients necessary for plant health and growth, such as
nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. These are what N, P, and K stand for on
bags of fertilizer. Nitrogen (N) is needed for healthy green growth and
regulation of other nutrients. Phosphorus (P) helps proper roots and seeds
develop and resist disease. Potassium (K) is also important in root development
and disease resistance. When properly applied, the nutrients in fertilizers are
absorbed by plants and little of these nutrients enters ground or surface water
Use the Right Fertilizer
- Test your soil to find out what nutrients ar needed. Contact your local
Natural Resources Conservation Service or Cooperative State Research,
Education, and Extention Service office to get information on obtaining a soil
test. Local fertilizer dealers can also be helpful.
- A soil test will help you understand what your plants require.
- Follow label directions.
- Choose a fertilizer that has at least one-fourth of the nitrogen in a
slow-release form, such as sulpher-coated urea.