Fertilizers come in different formulas based on the N-P-K ratio. This ratio, by law, is on every bag of organic and synthetic fertilizer.
N = Nitrogen
P = Phosphorus
K = Potash or Potassium
A fertilizer with a 20-10-5 ratio is 20 percent nitrogen, 10 percent, phosphorus and 5 percent potash.
Colorado soils are famously low in nitrogen and organic matter, and usually have adequate amounts of phosphorus and potash. Therefore, we recommend formulations with lower P-K numbers. However, if you’re starting a new garden or suspect a nutrient deficiency, you may need additional phosphorus and potash. We suggest a soil test kit.
At Wilmore, we carry both organic and synthetic formulations. Organic fertilizers are made from plant and animal by-products, rock powders, seaweed and other natural sources. They have lower numbers, such as 8-4-2, and the nutrients are released into the soil slowly. Organic formulations are ideal when your plants are healthy and just need a boost. Synthetic fertilizers are derived from chemicals and are fast-acting. They’re ideal for plants that are stressed and need a quick shot of nutrients.
We also carry specific formulations for vegetables, flowers, bulbs, and for plants that have unusual needs, such as citrus and orchids. Always apply fertilizer according to the package instructions. If you’re not sure what formulation you need, just ask. Our fertilizers are located by the Information Desk where there is usually an employee ready to answer your questions.