Answer: The three numbers on the fertilizer package indicate the amounts of Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium.
Nitrogen is responsible for the vegetative growth of plants above ground. With a good supply, plants grow sturdily and mature rapidly, with rich, dark green foliage.
The second major element in plant nutrition, phosphorus is essential for healthy growth, strong roots, fruit and flower development, and greater resistance to disease.
The third plant nutrient, potassium oxide is essential for the development of strong roots. It helps plants to resist diseases, protects them from the cold and protects during dry weather by preventing excessive water loss.
Lawn fertilizers typically have more nitrogen and potassium to encourage lush, green growth and strong roots and less phosphorus because flower development is not important. For this reason, I'd use the 16-14-20 formulation.
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