Taking a Closer Look at ‘NPK’

If you’ve spent any serious length of time in the garden, you’ve probably seen fertilizer labeled with the abbreviations NPK. Both chemical and organic fertilizers use this abbreviation to signify their nutritional content. But what exactly does NPK stand for? And how do you know which NPK fertilizer to choose? To learn the answers to these questions and more, keep reading.

Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium

NPK stands for nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Typically, fertilizers have an NPK rating consisting of three numbers, such as 5-2-2 for fish emulsion. A fertilizer with an NPK rating of 5-2-2 possesses a ratio of 5 parts nitrogen, 2 parts phosphorus and 2 parts potassium; therefore, there’s twice as much nitrogen as there is phosphorus and potassium mixed inside.

Role of NPK In Plat Health:
•Nitrogen is responsible for healthy plant growth, foliage and vegetation.
•Phosphorus promotes healthy roots and shoots.
•Potassium transports water throughout the plant while encouraging healthy flowering and fruiting.

Watch Out For High Nitrogen Fertilizers

Feeding your plants a high-nitrogen fertilizer will encourage them to grow faster, which is a huge benefit if you’re growing fruits, vegetables or some other type of consumable plant; however, the downside to a high-nitrogen fertilizer is the negative effect it has on plants’ natural defense. When plants are fed too much nitrogen, they are left more susceptible to disease, pets and illness.

There’s a fine line you must balance when choosing a fertilizer to use in the garden. You want to provide your plants with an ample concentration of nutrients, but at the same time you don’t want to flood them out with too much.

Don’t Rely Strictly on NPK

Yes, nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium are critical nutrients that can help most (not all) plants grow bigger and healthier, but they aren’t the only beneficial plant nutrients. If you’re thinking of starting a garden, or if you’re looking to improve your current garden, you should take into account the presence of the following nutrients when choosing a plant fertilizer.

Other Important Nutrients In Plant Fertilizer:
•Hydrogen
•Oxygen
•Sulfur
•Magnesium
•Copper
•Cobalt
•Sodium
•Boron
•Molybdenum
•Zinc

Hopefully, this will give you a better understanding of N (nitrogen) P (potassium) K (potassium) and how it affects plant growth. It’s the standard form of measurement when describing a fertilizer’s nutrition ratio, but it’s not the also nutrients you should look for. Take into the account the nutrients listed above as well to find the perfect fertilizer for your plants.