No matter what sort of plants you grow, and no matter what your reasons are for growing them, making sure that you get them adequate nutrition is crucial for good results.
Everyone knows that plants need nutrients, but not everyone knows how intricate and delicate the growing process can be.
Give your plants the wrong fertilizer, or the right fertilizer at the wrong time, and you can impair their growth or even damage them.
Knowing which fertilizer is best is made even trickier when you consider how many different kinds of fertilizer are on the market these days. It is enough to make your head spin!
To help you figure out which fertilizers are best for your purposes I’m bringing you a guide on all the common kinds you are likely to encounter.
Today will be looking at 19-19-19, a well-rounded but potent fertilizer. I’ll tell you everything you need to know below.
What Does 19-19-19 Fertilizer Mean?
The series of numbers you see on a bag of 19-19-19, and other fertilizers for that matter, is actually a code.
That code tells you how much of each of the essential nutrients is present in the formulation.
So for instance, on a bag of 19-19-19 you know it has 19% nitrogen, 19% phosphorus and 19% potassium.
It’s the same for any other variation of fertilizer you might see.
This is typically referred to as the NPK ratio, and as you might have guessed, that stands for nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium according to the atomic symbol of each element on the periodic table.
To be clear, K stands for potassium; that’s why you don’t see it abbreviated NPP!
19-19-19 Fertilizer Benefits
19-19-19 is a well-rounded but potent fertilizer that’s pretty good for general use.
Most plants can benefit from it as long as they need a good amount of nitrogen, but it is not a great choice for sensitive or delicate plants.
19-19-19 is especially good for new plantings that need a surge of nutrition to get off on the right foot, or when used at the beginning of the growing season to help accelerate new growth.
It’s also remarkably good for supplemental fertilization of fruiting plants that need lots of nutrients at various times throughout the season.
If you’re starting from scratch with soil that has been badly mismanaged or is heavily depleted, 19-19-19 is also a good choice since it can put a large amount of everything that plants need back into the soil, but it generally isn’t so concentrated you’ll have to worry about imbalances.
What Are the Ingredients in 19-19-19 Fertilizer?
So based on what I told you above, we know that 19-19-19 has nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in equal amounts.
But what else does this fertilizer typically contain?
That depends upon the manufacturer and whether or not you’re working with an all-natural or synthetic fertilizer.
Your fertilizer can contain things like pest control additives, soil conditioners, water retention media, and other beneficial minerals for plants like lime and iron.
Also note that you don’t necessarily want a fertilizer that has all of these fancy additives.
Each has a time and a place that it is best used, and sometimes you just need a simple, straightforward fertilizer to fix a specific issue.
How Should You Apply 19-19-19 Fertilizer?
The application process for 19-19-19 depends on what type it is, and you’ll generally find this stuff in various solid and also liquid forms.
If you’re dealing with a solid fertilizer, it is most likely a granule or a fine powder.
Both of these can be applied by hand or using manual tools or else applied using a broadcaster or spreader.
These solid forms typically release their nutrients more slowly over time with successive waterings.
If you’re dealing with a liquid variation, chances are good it will require dilution, but once you’ve done that, you can apply it with a sprayer, sprinkler system, or a watering can.
Which Plants Benefit From 19-19-19 Fertilizer?
Lots of plants can benefit from the balanced nutrition found in 19-19-19. It is an all-purpose fertilizer, but a strong one because it contains a lot of nitrogen.
This means it is not a great choice for delicate plants or for any plant that already has a lot of nitrogen available in the soil.
Double-check your test results and ratios before giving 19-19-19 to your squashes, root veggies and perennial herbs.
Be especially cautious if you are using it on any young plants and make sure you don’t over apply.
Is 19-19-19 Good for Gardens?
Yes, so long as you use it carefully. 19-19-19 is a good but strong general-purpose fertilizer, and it can be just the ticket for giving any plant a big boost of nutrition.
However, if you apply it too often or too carelessly, it can easily roast your plants.
19-19-19 is especially good for fruits and veggies that need well-rounded nutrition during their growth phases.
Is 19-19-19 Good for Trees?
Yes, although once again, you should be very cautious with young trees because it’s easy to overdo it.
19-19-19 can provide great, well-rounded nutrition for fruit and non-fruit trees alike.
Is 19-19-19 Fertilizer Good for Your Lawn?
Yes, it is. Most grasses tend to be quite nitrogen-hungry, and the phosphorus and potassium present in 19-19-19 will further help them thrive and take better advantage of other nutrients.
That being said, 19-19-19 is typically a little bit too strong for continual use throughout the season.
I like to use it sparingly, either at the beginning of the season to get my grass off to a good start, or to help neglected or badly stressed grass recover…
Is 19-19-19 Good for Your Houseplants?
Only for sturdier types of houseplants. If you use a 19-19-19 on your typical, delicate houseplants the high nitrogen content can easily cause damage.
How And When Should You Use 19-19-19 Fertilizer?
19-19-19 is invariably a good choice at the beginning of any given growing season when you need your plants to get a big shot of nutrients they need to start growing right.
It’s also a superb and straightforward choice for restoring nutrient levels in badly neglected soil as mentioned above.
It can be used throughout the season judiciously on plants that can handle its high nitrogen content.
What’s the Best Time of Day to Apply 19-19-19?
Always, always, always apply 19-19-19 late in the evening or very early in the morning if at all possible.
The high nitrogen content present in this fertilizer can easily burn plants to a crisp if you do it in the middle of the day when the sun is at its highest and temperatures are likewise high.
How Much 19-19-19 Fertilizer Do You Need per Acre?
Don’t be too quick to go by old rules of thumb when using 19-19-19. I strongly urge you to consult the manufacturer’s specifications for how much you should use generally to fertilize an acre of land.
Aside from there being considerable variation in the concentration of different manufacturers’ fertilizers, if you haven’t conducted a soil test, you might be going overboard with 19-19-19.
Consider too that phosphorus buildup is a significant hazard in many places. Do your due diligence, check the soil, then consult the manufacturer info.
If you absolutely, positively must have an easily remembered and implemented metric, use 1 pound of 19-19-19 for every thousand square feet of land.
Who Makes the Best 19-19-19 Fertilizer?
FarmGro and Novel both make good 19-19-19 fertilizer variations that have been remarkably consistent.
Where Can You Find 19-19-19 Fertilizer?
19-19-19 is pretty common, and you should expect to find it pretty much anywhere fertilizer is sold, including home improvement stores, nurseries, garden centers, and more.
You can also, of course, order it direct online.
Tim is a farm boy with vast experience on homesteads, and with survival and prepping. He lives a self-reliant lifestyle along with his aging mother in a quiet and very conservative little town in Ohio. He teaches folks about security, prepping and self-sufficiency not just through his witty writing, but also in person.
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