Fertilizer Crash Course

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Difficulty: Beginner



Help your plants with nutrients they need. Feed them now. ll The Home Depot Garden Club

Healthy plants start from the ground up — with healthy soil. Even then, plants may need a little help in the form of extra nutrients, such as fertilizer.

Use fertilizers to keep plants healthy, happy and thriving. Talk to your local The Home Depot Garden Center associate for additional advice.

Give Plants a Boost with fertilizer:

  1. Understanding the label. Every fertilizer label shows three numbers you’ll need to understand. The first number is for nitrogen, which produces bold color. The second number is for phosphate, which is responsible for ample flowering. And, the third number is for potassium, which aids in healthy growth.
  2. Choosing the right fertilizer. Most plants, including annuals, roses, orchids, vegetables, lawns and annuals, have different feeding needs. Check the label to see if the fertilizer is intended for a particular type of plant and choose the right kind for your garden. For lawns, see our infographic with spring fertilization tips.
  3. Selecting organic food for veggies. Seek out organic fertilizer suited for vegetables. Edible plants are heavy feeders. Tomatoes and citrus, in particular, need their own special food.
  4. Hitting the easy button. All-purpose fertilizers are good for many plants, including annuals. Check the label for details.
  5. Applying fertilizers. Apply fertilizer directly to soil, avoiding stems and leaves.
  6. Seeing the signs. Look for signs that your plants need feeding. Fertilize if turf grass looks thin or weedy, fruits fail to ripen, flowers are skimpy or vegetables aren’t ripening.
  7. Following directions. Always follow package directions. Try not to over feed; too much fertilizer can harm plants.

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