What are the 3 Numbers in Lawn Fertilizer

September 25, 2022
Pride In Turf

Pride In Turf is an Atlanta-based lawn fertilization and weed control company. Here is a post about the 3 numbers in lawn fertilizer and what they mean.

On all lawn fertilizer labels, you will see a combination of 3 numbers in various combinations. They may look like 10-10-10, 16-4-8, or many other combinations. These numbers are the NPK ratio and are very important in choosing the right fertilizer for your lawn. NPK stands for nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P), and potassium (K).

What do the NPK Numbers Mean?

Nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium are your lawn's three most important nutrients. The NPK numbers give you the ratio or percentage of each of these nutrients the fertilizer contains. For example, a fertilizer with an NPK of 10-10-10 contains 10% nitrogen, 10% phosphorous, and 10% potassium. Each of these nutrients has different benefits for your lawn, and the numbers for the fertilizer your lawn needs will depend on your lawn. 

How to Know What Numbers are Needed in your Fertilizer

 There are many fertilizers with a variety of NPK numbers with different percentages of each nutrient. A soil test can help determine what NPK to look for in your fertilizer. The soil test will tell you which nutrients your soil contains and which nutrients it lacks. If your soil test informs you that you do not have enough phosphorous in your lawn, you want a fertilizer with plenty of phosphorous. The same goes for other nutrients as well, such as a natural nitrogen fertilizer. Your soil test may also tell you how many pounds of the three nutrients your lawn needs.  

What Do the 3 Nutrients Do for your Lawn

The 3 nutrients (NPK) each have different benefits for your lawn and work together for a healthy lawn. The following gives you some of the main benefits of each nutrient needed in your lawn:

  • Nitrogen (N):  bo