Answer: Up, down and all around refers to the activity of the three major ingredients in fertilizer (Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potassium) and how they affect plant growth.
Nitrogen promotes lush, green growth (UP); phosphorous promotes strong stem growth and flowers (DOWN), potassium encourages strong root growth (ALL AROUND).
So if you are fertilizing turfgrass, you want top and root growth but not flowering. Therefore you would choose a fertilizer higher in nitrogen and potassium and lower in phosphorous. 21-7-14 is a good example.
If you are fertilizing flowers, you will want a higher phosphorus fertilizer to boost blooming. 5-10-5 is an example.
Hope this information helps!
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