It’s that time of the year when your lawn requires a nutritional boost but you are not sure on the NPK fertilizer ratio to use. So, is 15-15-15 fertilizer good for lawns?
15-15-15 fertilizer ratio is not the best choice for lawns. This fertilizer contains high percentages of phosphorus and potassium. Excess potassium can inhibit absorption of nitrogen and other nutrients from the soil while the high levels of phosphorus are not ideal for an established lawn.
What Does 15-15-15 Fertilizer Mean?
15-15-15 fertilizer is a type of NPK fertilizer containing the same ratios of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. The first digits are the percentage of Nitrogen, the second digits are the percentage of phosphorus while the last ones represent the percentage of potassium.
This means that a bag of 15-15-15 fertilizer contain 15% nitrogen, 15% phosphorus and 15% potassium. The remaining 55% is made up of filler materials and other compound to improve the flow-ability of the fertilizer. Therefore, it contains a balanced ratio of the three primary nutrients required by plants.
15-15-15 is among the best fertilizers you can use in your garden. It provides the three primary nutrients to a wide range of trees, vegetables, flowers and fruit plants. When used appropriately, it improves the health of your plants as well as increasing the production.
It is a multi-purpose fertilizer that enhances healthy green leaves and stems, strengthened roots and promotes resilience to drought and diseases attack. It also improves flower formation on ornamental plants as well as promoting quality seeds production.
This fertilizer may be applied to plants using a Rotary spreader, hand-held spreaders or by hands. The fertilizer granules are soluble in water, they dissolve when watered. The nutrients infiltrates into the soil where they are absorbed by the plants.
When using your hands to fertilize your plants, be sure to wear a protective gear that include: gloves, face mask, gumboots and goggles. Synthetic fertilizers contain chemicals that are harmful to your health when inhaled or come in contact with skin.
Is 15-15-15 Fertilizer Good for Lawns?
Fertilizer containing NPK ratio of 15-15-15 is not an ideal choice for most lawns. This fertilizer contains high amount of potassium that may inhibit absorption of nitrogen and other nutrients. A 15-15-15 fertilizer ratio also contains high amount of phosphorus for an already established lawn.
Established lawn and new lawn requires different NPK fertilizer ratios. An established lawn thrive well on a fertilizer containing high amount of nitrogen, no phosphorus and little amount of potassium. On the other hand, a new lawn will require fertilizer containing equal amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus with little potassium.
Nitrogen promotes a lush green growth in plants. It increases production of chlorophyll molecules that absorbs more energy from the sun through the process of photosynthesis. Phosphorus is the second primary element required by your lawn to develop stems and strong root system. Potassium is the last element that help the plants to develop resistance to drought and diseases.
These three primary elements benefits your lawn optimally when in different ratios. Therefore, the best fertilizer ratio for an established lawn is 32-0-4. This fertilizer contain 32% nitrogen, 0% phosphorus and 4% potassium. These ratios may vary depending on the growth stage of your lawn.
New or a struggling lawn require a fertilizer containing high amount of nitrogen and phosphorus with little amount of potassium. For instance, a lawn that is less than a month old requires a fertilizer with NPK ratios of 22-23-4. The ratios of nitrogen and phosphorus are high to stimulate green growth and better root development.
When it comes to knowing the best NPK fertilizer ratio to use on your lawn, it is important to conduct a soil test. It helps to determine the exact nutrient that is inadequate in the soil. It also provides recommendations on the exact proportions required to be applied into the soil.
There’re also alternatives to chemical fertilizers that are best for your lawn. Organic fertilizers help to improve both the health of plants and that of the soil.
For instance, using a mulching blade can help to cut the grass clippings into tiny pieces that are incorporated back into the lawn after mowing. These materials helps to return nitrogen and other nutrients back into the soil after decomposing.
Other organic fertilizers that you can use on your lawn include:
- Coffee grounds to improve Nitrogen content
- Blood meal to treat phosphorus deficiency
- Fish emulsion
- Bone meal and
- Worm castings.
Organic fertilizers may take longer time to decompose before releasing nutrients into the soil as compared to chemical fertilizers. However, they improve health of plant, increase soil aeration and drainage. Also prevent over-fertilizing that results from use of chemical fertilizers.
What is Triple 15 Fertilizer Good for?
Balanced fertilizers are great for most garden crops but not ideal for trees and lawn. 15-15-15 fertilizer ratio is good for almost all vegetables, fruit and ornamental flowers. They require a balanced fertilizer to flourish and flower.
This is a multi-purpose fertilizer that helps to strengthen the roots, promotes a deep green color as well as strengthening the plants against diseases and tough weather conditions. Healthy roots and leaves ensures the plants remain in a good condition for a long period of time.
Fertilizing ornamental flowers with triple 15 fertilizer helps to strengthen all parts including the roots, stems and the petals. Therefore, you are guaranteed beautiful flowers that blossoms in abundance.
Triple 15 fertilizer contains equal amount of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. The balanced primary elements can be the perfect fit for most plants in your garden. Each of these elements benefits the plants in different as explained below:
Nitrogen is very essential to plants. It helps the plants in different ways.
- Helps to promote growth of different plant tissues such as leaves and trunks.
- It helps the plants to produce chlorophyll. Have you ever wondered why plants are green? Chlorophyll molecules gives the plants the green pigmentation.
- Prevents discoloration of leaves. Nitrogen promotes lush green growth. Its deficiency is characterized by yellowing of leaves.
- Assists with photosynthesis. This is a process whereby plants uses sunlight, carbon dioxide and water to form sugars and starch. Nitrogen is part of chlorophyll that plays an important role in this process.
- Strengthens the plants DNA. Nitrogen helps in retaining the genetic code within the plant’s nucleus.
Phosphorus is the second primary element required by plants. It is beneficial to plants in different ways as explained below:
- Phosphorus encourages root growth on any plant. As we know, roots are the foundation of plants and having a web-like root system promotes a healthy growth of the entire plant.
- It improves flower formation and seeds production. Flowers formation is an indication of a healthy fruit set. A vibrant blossoms on ornamental plants is also important to gardeners.
- It also improves plants resilient against tough winter weather conditions
Potassium is the third element required by plants. It helps the plants in different ways.
- Improves drought and diseases resistance as well as promoting root growth.
- Helps the plants to produce energy through the process of photosynthesis.
- Enhances movement of starch and sugars within the plant.
- Increases production of plants proteins.
- It prevent energy loss by reducing the rate of respiration.
- Maintains turgidity in plants by reducing wilting and water loss.
- Enhances production of grains rich in starch
- Aids in building cellulose as well reducing lodging within the plant tissues.
Fertilize your plants with a 15-15-15 fertilizer when they are at the peak of their growth cycle or when they are actively growing. Fertilize your plants early in the spring to help them recover fast from the tough winter conditions.
Prior to fertilizing your plants, be sure to read and understand the user instructions. Use the manufacturer’s instructions to find out everything you need to know about the fertilizer such as application rate and method.
Generally, the standard fertilizer application rate is 1 pound per 1,000 square feet of land. Excess application may weaken your plants as well as polluting rives, ponds and other water bodies downstream.
As stated earlier, the ideal fertilizer ratio to use on an established lawn should have high nitrogen content, no phosphorus and little amount potassium. On the other hand, a new lawn require a fertilizer containing high amount of both nitrogen and phosphorus with little potassium.
15-15-15 fertilizer contains high amount of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. This ratio is not ideal for both new and established lawn. It contain high amount of phosphorus that is not necessary for an established lawn. The excess potassium can also prevent absorption and nitrogen and other nutrient from the soil.
When selecting the best fertilizer to use on your lawn, pay a close attention to the numbers on the package. The numbers represents the NPK percentage. Your lawn requires different nutrient percentages depending on the type of grass and growth stage.