A fertile garden begins with the soil, which contains the nutrients that plants require for proper growth and development. During soil preparation, adding organic matter returns essential nutrients to the soil. (What is organic matter?)
Throughout the season, fertilizer can be applied to boost growth and production. There are many choices on the market, so the gardener should have a basic idea of fertilizer and the desired effects of application. Always read labels and follow directions!
Packaged fertilizer has three numbers on the label, representing the percentage of NPK in respective order. A fertilizer labeled as 10-10-10 has 10% N, 10% P and 10% K, with the remaining 70% being filler, and perhaps, small amounts of other nutrients. Basically, N is for Nitrogen that boosts growth. P is for Phosphorus that strengthens root development, flowering and production. K is for Potassium that increases overall plant health.
All information and images
(c) copyright Moore & Warner 2000-2004 unless otherwise noted