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Choosing the Right Fertilizer


Plants need to eat their Wheaties, too. Be honest: are you certain that yours are getting the proper nutrition, day in and day out? Use these tips to choose a fertilizer with the appropriate nutrient ratio for your turf and landscape needs.

SiteOne March 6, 2018

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Fertilizer selection is based upon a number of factors—overall turf condition, amount and frequency of foot traffic, soil test results, history of disease, temperature and drought stress, desired growth, and greening results. Use the tips below as a guide for choosing a fertilizer with the appropriate nutrient ratio for your turf and landscape needs.

Choose a fertilizer with a high nitrogen-to-potassium ratio (2:1 or higher) when:

  • Turf is in overall good condition.
  • The desired result is consistent and/or accelerated top growth.
  • Applying in the spring when no fertilizer was put down in the fall.

Choose a fertilizer with a high potassium-to-nitrogen ratio (1:2 or higher) when:

  • Soil test results show low potassium levels.
  • There are periods of stress from heat, cold, drought, or traffic.
  • Turf area to be fertilized has a history of disease.

Choose a fertilizer with a balanced nitrogen-to-potassium ratio (1:1) when:

  • Turf is in good condition and general maintenance is desired.
  • Stressful conditions, such as drought, high heat, or traffic persist.
  • A reduction in top growth is desired.

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