Fertilizer Product Support


Fertilizer Product Support

Fertilizer Basics

A common problem is that the product manufacturers only list a select few spreader while giving settings. If you do not see your brand of spreader there are some basic tips to help you get started.

Normally you want to open your spreader 20% for a sufficient application. So if your spreader has 10 settings, open it to the second position, if your spreader only has 5 settings, you can open to the first setting

Basic Measurements

1 cup of fertilizer weighs about ½ pound

1 pint of fertilizer weighs just less than 1 lb

1 quart of fertilizer weighs about 1¾ lbs

There are 43,560 square feet per acre


Grass Type Pounds of Nitrogen per 1,000 Square Feet
Bahia grass 2 to 4 lbs. of actual N
Bentgrass 4 to 6 lbs. of actual N
Bermuda grass, Common 2 to 6 lbs. of actual N
Bermuda grass, Hybrid 4 to 6 lbs. of actual N
Blue grama 1 to 2 lbs. of actual N
Buffalo grass 0 to 2 lbs. of actual N
Centipede grass 1 to 2 lbs. of actual N
Fine fescue 2 to 3 lbs. of actual N
Kentucky bluegrass 4 to 6 lbs. of actual N
Ryegrass 2 to 4 lbs. of actual N
St. Augustine grass 4 to 5 lbs. of actual N
Tall fescue 2 to 6 lbs. of actual N
Zoysia grass 3 to 4 lbs. of actual N

Spreader Settings

Fertilizer and seed spreader are used to evenly disperse weed killers, granular fertilizer, grass seed, and insecticides. With rotary spreaders, deciding what setting to use depends on many different things. On your bag of product there should be some helpful information telling you how many pounds to put out per 1000 sq. ft. This information will be the guide on determining what setting to put your spreader on.

Nitrogen Application

This chart shows how many units of Nitrogen are needed per year which is to be broken down according to how many times fertilizer is being applied. For instance, if your grass needs 4 lbs of actual N per year, it would be best to put out 1 lb of N. approximately 4 times a year. Putting all the needed nitrogen out all at one time could burn your lawn.

Determining how much fertilizer you will need

Most fertilizer bags will say how many square feet it will cover but if it doesn’t, here is an easy way to figure it out yourself.


Percentage of Nitrogen in the Fertilizer Bag

Pounds of Fertilizer to Apply to 1,000 Square Feet

































-One 40 lb. bag of 12-12-12 will cover 4800 sq. ft. if 1 pound of Nitrogen per 1000 sq. ft. is being applied.

40lb bag /8.3 lbs of fertilizer per 1000 sq. ft. = 4800 sq. ft.

-One 40 lb. bag of 10-10-10 will cover 4000 sq. ft. if 1 pound of Nitrogen per 1000 sq. ft. is being applied.

40 lb bag /10 lbs of fertilizer per 1000 sq. ft. = 4000 sq. ft.

Fertilizer Basics

A rotary spreader is the most commonly used, they use a wheel the evenly disperse granules or seeds to each side as well as below the spreader. A drop spreader tends to be more time consuming as it only covers the area directly under the spreader, leaving more passes to be made. The different types of spreaders all have different settings so the setting you use with a rotary spreader will probably not be the same on the drop spreader.

Fertilizer Basics

For flowers apply approx. 5 lbs.(8-8-8 or 10-10-10) or 3-4 lbs (12-12-12 or 13-13-13) per 100 sq. ft and work into the soil, during flowering periods you can apply 2-3 lbs. per 100 sq. ft. every 4 to 6 weeks during the flowering season.

On row crops apply 1 ½ lbs.( 12-12-12 or 13-13-13) to 3 lbs.( 8-8-8 or 10-10-10) per 100 ft. of row in a trench 1” to 2” deeper than the seeds are to be placed and 2” to 3” to the side of the row.

For vegetable gardens broadcast 2lbs. (12-12-12 or 13-13-13) to 4 lbs (8-8-8 or 10-10-10) per 100 sq ft. Cut into the soil well and then add 1 ½ to 2 lbs. raked in 1” to 2”.

Trees should be fertilized in late winter or early spring and will need 2 lbs. (12-12-12 or 13-13-13) to 3 lbs. (8-8-8 or 10-10-10) of fertilizer per 1” of trunks diameter. This will need to be drilled in as deep as possible and watered throughly.

Shrubs need fertilizer based on their height


2-4 tbsp -------- up to 1 ft.

½ lb. -------- 3-4 ft.

2-3 lbs -------- 5-8 ft.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does the three numbers on a fertilizer bag represent?

The three numbers on the bag represent the amounts or percentages of Nitrogen, Phosphate, and Potash contained in the fertilizer. Most plants require large amounts of these nutrients in order to flourish. For example the fertilizer 8-8-8 contains 8 percent Nitrogen, 8 percent of Phosphate, and 8 percent Potash.

Which type of fertilizer is best for my plants?

Determining the best type of fertilizer to use can depend on a lot of different factors. The analysis on the bag is the largest indicator of what the fertilizer is best used on. For example, lawns fertilizers usually contain high levels of Nitrogen (first number), which brings out leafy growth and vegetation. Lawn fertilizers are great for your grass, but not necessarily the best for annual flowers because the high levels of nitrogen promotes vegetative growth rather than promoting flowering. Our fertilizers are generally complete, meaning that they have the same amount of all three nutrients which is good for a wide range of plants in your garden, landscape, or containers.

What is the best form of fertilizer?

Gardeners most often use liquid or granular forms of fertilizers. One type of fertilizer is not necessarily better than the other, it just depends on what the products is being applied on. Liquid fertilizers are fast acting as well and should be applied when watering. There are two types of granular fertilizers, a water soluble fertilizer is normally best put out before a light rain and will allow you to see results more quickly. The second type is a slow release fertilizer and will generally last all year long because they do not break down as quickly.

How often and how much fertilizer should I put on my plants?

The quantity, rate, and frequency of when you apply fertilizer depends on many different factors as well, such as the fertilizer analysis, plant species, soil, and nutrients present. For outdoor and garden plants a soil test is highly recommended. Here are some general guidelines for fertilizing.

Granular fertilizer is often applied to vegetable gardens during planting or it can be incorporated into the soil before planting. Annuals may require a more persistent fertilization throughout the season. Perennials tend to need fertilizer once every other spring and trees and shrubs very rarely need fertilizing if they are already established. Houseplants or plants in container will need fertilizer more often mainly in the spring, summer and fall. Watching your plants is the best way to determine if they need nutrients. Yellowing or slow growth is a common sign that plants need more nutrients than what they’re getting.

Can you fertilize too much?

Yes, over fertilization can cause a lot of problems with plants and can result in stunted growth or burnt leaves. When fertilizing, less is more, is a great motto to use while applying. Knowing the product and reading the labels is a very important while determining how much product to apply.

Should I fertilize my plant if it looks sick?

One of the worst things to do is to over-fertilize a plant that is not doing well. The main thing is to first diagnose the problem. Many things such as water, sunlight, pests, or funguses can very well be the reason your plant is not doing so well. Fertilizer will not fix unrelated problems and has the capability of making it worse.

Why are some fertilizers dyed different colors?

Dyes are commonly used in fertilizer as a tool more than anything. For one they give immediate information upon first glance, darker dyes are normally used on a more concentrated fertilizer where as a lighter dyed solution wouldn’t contain nearly as many nutrients. As well, many landscapers and homeowner can benefit from dyed fertilizer because it gives them a visual on where fertilizer has been applied.

Are fertilizers harmful to pets or kids?

To be safe, fertilizers should be kept away from kids and pets. Products labels will normally have procedures if an accident were to occur.

How do I determine how many bags of fertilizer I need for my lawn?

Most every fertilizer bag will include how many square feet 1 bag will cover. To determine how many square feet your yard is, take the width (in feet) and multiply that by the length (in feet) and that will be the total square feet that needs to be covered.