How to Read a Fertilizer Label

Introduction: How to Read a Fertilizer Label

About: I am a professional writer than gets to write about anything and everything related to lawn care, gardening, nature, and being outside. I love gardening and spending time with my family outside as much as po...

Fertilizer labels contain a lot of information that may be unfamiliar.

For more information visit us on the web at

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Be the First to Share


    • Toys and Games Challenge

      Toys and Games Challenge
    • Backyard Contest

      Backyard Contest
    • Silly Hats Speed Challenge

      Silly Hats Speed Challenge

    2 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    But if you're looking for organic fertilizer, forget about NPK and focus on the ingredients which provide protein to the soil. In order of protein content, those are:

    corn gluten meal
    soy bean meal
    alfalfa pellets or meal
    corn meal (whole ground)

    If you want to add blood meal, please mix it in with the grain type meals to dilute the blood.  Note that these ingredients may be purchased at any feed store (they are everywhere). 

    The application rate for organic fertilizers is 20 pounds per 1,000 square feet.  You can double or triple that with no harm, but you'll find it gets a little, uh, aromatic as the protein decomposes.  In smaller amounts the soil microbes can decompose it without the powerful smell. 

    The time to apply organics is any time you want and just about as often as you want or can afford.  Even with soil temperatures lower than 50 degrees F, there are soil microbes still active and preparing for spring.