A Good Rule to Use in Fertilizing EVERYTHING in the Landscape
APPLY 1 POUND N PER 1,000 SQUARE FEET
EXAMPLE 1. To fertilize a Bermudagrass lawn you chose a 10-10-10 grade fertilizer. Since the fertilizer contains 10% N, you need to apply 10 pounds of the fertilizer (1.0/10% = 10) for every 1,000 square feet of lawn. Referring to Extension publication ANR-0239, repeat this 2-4 times from May to September.
EXAMPLE 2. Your soil test indicated “very high” phosphorus (P) so you chose a fertilizer with no P, such as 15-0-15. Since this fertilizer contains 15% N, you need to apply 6.6 pounds of 15-0-15 (1.0/15% = 6.6) for every 1,000 square feet of Bermudagrass lawn. Referring to Extension publication ANR-0239, repeat this 2-4 times from May to September.
EXAMPLE 3. You chose to use a turfgrass fertilizer with a slow-release formulation. Its label indicates a 26-3-8 grade. To get 1.0 pounds of N per 1,000 square feet, you need to apply 3.8 pounds (1.0/26% = 3.8) of fertilizer. Because it is slow-release, you may double the amount and apply it less frequently, 1 to 2 times from May to September, than a water-soluble fertilizer.
EXAMPLE 4. You have an organic, composted cow manure to fertilize your lawn. The label indicates it is a 0.5-0.5-0.5 grade fertilizer. You need to apply 200 pounds (1.0/0.5% = 200) per 1,000 square feet in order to apply 1.0 pound of N. Because most organic sourced fertilizers are slow-release, you may double the amount to 400 pounds per 1,000 square feet and apply it less often. This example illustrates that low-percent nutrient fertilizers are not practical for all plantings.
REMEMBER. Most plants remove, or use up, about 5 times more N than P from the soil. Therefore, it is reasonable to use the product’s N percentage as the calculation basis for our fertilizer applications. However, using a 13-13-13 or certain organic sourced products, there may be excess P and K that the plant cannot remove. A soil test is the best way to know exactly what your soil and plants need.
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