19-19-19 fertilizer is best used for fruit trees, flower gardens, and some vegetable gardens. “Triple 19” fertilizer is not a good lawn fertilizer, so it should not be used on grass. The numbers on 19-19-19 fertilizer mean it contains equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. This promotes healthy growth for flowers, but contains far too much phosphorus for your lawn. Additionally, 19-19-19 fertilizer should not be used for tomatoes, due to its high nitrogen content.
Table of Contents
What Do the Numbers on 19-19-19 Fertilizer Mean?
The 3 numbers on a bag of 19-19-19 fertilizer indicate the percentage, by weight, of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. So, a bag of triple-19 fertilizer contains 19% nitrogen, 19% phosphorus, and 19% potassium. The remaining 43% contains ingredients that help with the absorption of fertilizer, and may contain other helpful additives such as iron.
- 19-19-19 means that this type of fertilizer contains 19% of each of the following ingredients: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
- Nitrogen encourages green leaf and shoot growth.
- Phosphorus drives the growth of roots, flowers, fruits, and vegetables.
- Potassium encourages disease resistance.
The numbers on a fertilizer bag always indicate the same ingredients. The first number always signifies the percentage of nitrogen in the fertilizer. The second number is the percentage of phosphorus, and the third number is the percentage of potassium. You can use this information to find a high-nitrogen, low phosphorus fertilizer that is perfect for established lawns.
What is the Best Fertilizer for All Plants?
There is no one “best fertilizer.” 19-19-19 may be appealing because it is a balanced, multi-purpose fertilizer, but it’s not specialized. Some flowers, fruits, and vegetables thrive best when given a certain ratio of nutrients. Additionally, grass and garden plants may require a different nutrient balance at different periods of growth. For example, young grass requires fertilizer with a higher phosphorus content to encourage root growth. Mature grass needs very little phosphorus.
What is the Best Use of 19-19-19 Fertilizer?
19-19-19 fertilizer—like other balanced fertilizers—is best used as a garden fertilizer. This fertilizer is not specialized, so it may not be the best fertilizer for every garden plant, but it’s beneficial to most non-grassy plants. 19-19-19 is mostly used for agricultural purposes, but it can be used for home gardens and fruit trees.
Is Triple-19 Fertilizer Good for Fruit Trees?
19-19-19 fertilizer is a good choice for fertilizing fruit trees. It provides a great balance of nutrients for leaf growth, root development, fruit formation, and disease resistance. To fertilize your fruit tree with triple-19, follow these steps:
- Use a rake to gently score lines in the soil in the entire area under your fruit tree’s branch canopy.
- Spread 1 pound (450 grams) of 19-19-19 fertilizer on the soil surface.
- Water the ground thoroughly to pull the fertilizer down to the roots.
- Cover the soil with mulch to lock in moisture.
- Repeat once per year in spring.
Is Triple-19 Fertilizer Good for Gardens?
You can use triple-19 fertilizer effectively in most flower, fruit, and vegetable gardens. Its balanced nutrient composition is beneficial to most plants. However, some varieties—such as tomatoes—prefer less nitrogen content. However, it’s safe to spread 19-19-19 in most gardens. Here’s how to do it:
- Measure your garden to find the square footage.
- Spread 2.5 pounds (1.1 kilos) of fertilizer for every 1,000 square feet (90 sq meters).
- Water your garden thoroughly to pull the fertilizer into the soil.
- Cover your soil with mulch if you have not already done so.
- Repeat every 3–4 weeks throughout the growing season.
Is Triple-19 Good for Tomatoes?
It is not a good idea to use triple-19 fertilizer for your tomato plants. Because 19-19-19 fertilizer contains equal parts nitrogen and phosphorus, it can cause your tomatoes to rot on the vine. Instead, it’s best to use a tomato fertilizer that contains more phosphorus than nitrogen. Look for a fertilizer where the second number (indicating phosphorus content) is twice as large as the first number (indicating nitrogen content. This tomato fertilizer is a great choice.
Is Triple-19 Fertilizer Good For Your Lawn?
There are several reasons why 19-19-19 fertilizer is a poor choice for lawns. Most importantly, it doesn’t have the right nutrient balance to promote a healthier lawn. It contains far more phosphorus than an established lawn needs. In many regions, it’s illegal to use high-phosphorus fertilizer on your lawn. The phosphorus runoff can be harmful to the environment. Instead, check out our hybrid fertilizer technique for growing an incredible lawn.
How Do You Use NPK 19-19-19 Fertilizer?
19-19-19 fertilizer is a balanced fertilizer, but it is not good for all plants. The best ways to use this fertilizer are:
- Fertilize fruit trees once per year with 1–2 pounds of 19-19-19 fertilizer.
- Spread 2.5 pounds of 19-19-19 fertilizer for every 1000 square feet of garden space. Repeat every 3–4 weeks until the growing season ends.
- Do not fertilize your lawn with 19-19-19—it doesn’t contain the right nutrient balance for healthy grass.
- Avoid fertilizing tomatoes with 19-19-19 fertilizer—the excess nitrogen may cause tomatoes to rot on the vine.
- Use 19-19-19 as a general-purpose garden and fruit tree fertilizer.
Triple-19 fertilizer may not contribute to a healthy lawn but it can boost the production of your fruit trees, flowers, and several common garden vegetables. By using 19-19-19 effectively, you can encourage plant growth and enjoy a bountiful garden.