Answer: Complete fertilizers are so called because they contain nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, the Big 3 in fertilizer ingredients. A fertilizer listed as "5-10-5," for instance, would be a complete fertilizer. But a fertilizer listed as "10-0-10" would not be a complete fertilizer, the middle zero indicating the absence of phosphorus in the fertilizer. A balanced fertilizer is any fertilizer that has equal amounts of the 3 major elements. Example: 20-20-20.
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