What is NPK?
When looking for a fertilizer to use for a new grow, or amend into soil where plants may not be growing as well as you’d like, you’ll probably notice three numbers prominently displayed on most bags. Believe it or not, these numbers represent the three major macronutrtients that all plants need to grow healthy. These nutrients are nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K), and they’ll always be listed on the bag in that order (NPK). The number values list the ratio of each in the mix, so you can be sure to buy the fertilizer that your plants need the most.
Why is NPK so important?
All plants need these nutrients, but depending on your soil, they need it in different amounts – this is why it’s always a good idea to get your soil tested so you’ll know what your plants need more of. Plants use large amounts of these three main macronutrients to grow, so if there’s nothing added to your soil, there’s a good chance that the soil has been leached of at least one of these nutrients and adding it back in will make a big difference in the health and yield of your crops. To be sure, there are an array of other micronutrients needed as well, but the amounts needed are so modest that the soil will be able to supply the plants with what they need, or it’s another part of the fertilizer mix you’ll be using overall.
Let’s take a look at how these three nutrients affect the way plants grow:
Nitrogen: This is one of the most basic elements that plants need to grow and produce chlorophyll, which is responsible for the plants green color. Chlorophyll is essential in the photosynthesis process, and a tell-tale sign that your plants aren’t getting enough nitrogen are light green leaves on new growth, and yellowing leaves on older growth. Nitrogen is one of the most critical nutrients for a plant when it’s newly planted and all its energy is spent on growing. A severe deficiency will eventually lead to the plants demise.
Phosphorus: This element is also essential during photosynthesis, and helps with the rapid growth young plants are going through as well as helping to increase resistance against common plant diseases along with stimulating root development. Phosphorus is essential throughout the grow cycle, from seed to harvest, though plants tend to show a bigger uptake when they’re getting ready to flower.
Potassium: Potassium is second only to nitrogen in terms of necessity to growth and health for a plant, and a deficiency will result in slowed growth, weak roots, and premature defoliation. If you’re growing fruit, a shortage of potassium will result in uneven ripening and a lower yield than expected.
Still not sure how much to use? Geoflora takes the guess work out of NPK and has the optimal ratio of each macro nutrient for the vegetative and blooming phases of plant growth - and includes some added bonuses!
A vegetative state fertilizer like Geoflora VEG is excellent to use when starting a new crop or transplanting seedlings; it contains diverse nitrogen sources and has been formulated specifically for use with young growth.
Geoflora BLOOM has a higher concentration of phosphorus than VEG does, and when it’s time for your crop to start flowering, switching over to BLOOM is a good choice for larger buds and an abundant harvest. Geoflora BLOOM kicks up the potassium in preparation for harvest as well as containing a charge of beneficial bacteria to make sure your crop won’t be wanting when it comes to harvest time.
Geoflora nutrients, VEG and BLOOM, are an exceptional choice to use throughout the season even if the soil you’re working with is fairly rich to begin with. Geoflora nutrients are OMRI-listed and work together with soil biology for a controlled, balanced release so they won’t shock or overwhelm young growth. Still have questions? Take a look at this earlier post we did about healthy soil.
Have a hydroponic or garden supply store? Left Coast Wholesale has you covered with wholesale pricing available on Geoflora nutrients in bags from 4 to 50 pounds. If you’re looking for Geoflora nutrients near you, call 800.681.1757 today to find a local Geoflora retailer!