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N.P.K. Explained: A Summary

Looking for a short explanation of NPK? Keep reading.

There's a long, more detailed NPK explanation here.

N

Stands for Nitrogen.

Nitrogen helps make plants greener, and helps them grow faster. Nitrogen can be depleted over time by plants, or by being washed away.

P

Stands for Phosphorus.

Phosphorous is good for root growth, disease resistance, seed and fruit growth, and for blooming and flowering.

K

Stands for Potash (or Potassium).

Potash can help with increasing root growth, with drought resistance, and with disease resistance. (So why is it K? Because it would be confusing if they used P twice in a row, and you'd never know which is which!)


Important!

Don't just grab a bag with high numbers on it and start spreading it on your lawn or garden. Your soil might already have plenty of phosphorous or potassium!

If you add more of something than your soil needs, it is wasteful. You can harm your plants by having too much of any of these nutrients.

Test your soil first!

Here are several products that can help.

Electronic Soil Tester Measure your soil's pH, check the NPK and more! This tool will drastically help your gardening if you have been going at it blindly until now.

Tomato Soil Test kit This terrific little kit helps you get adjust your soil for the biggest possible tomato crop.

Improving your Soil booklet Healthy soil is the key to successful gardening and a thick, green lawn. These tips are easy to implement, and will help you grow anything more successfully.