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Home / What’s the NPK Ratio? What’s In Your Soil?

What is the NPK Ratio? 

The NPK ratio is listed on packaging to show a product’s contents by volume of nitrogen (chemical symbol N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K).  Products are designed to have higher or lower volumes, depending upon their specific use.  Example: For plants with lots of foliage, they would want a higher Nitrogen volume. Flowering bulbs do well with a higher dose of Phosphorus, and fruit producing plants need more Potassium. Listing the NPK ratio on our bags helps to better accommodate your growing needs.

NPK – Nitrogen, Phosphorous, Potassium

N = Nitrogen: For plants with lots of foliage. Helps plants to produce strong, healthy, green leaves. Plants will show they are Nitrogen deficient with yellowing leaves. Plants that have too much Nitrogen in their soil tend to get overgrown, leggy, and produce little to no fruit.

P = Phosphorous: Stimulates strong root growth and hardiness. (critical for healthy root crops and bulbs) Strong roots help support the weight of limbs and foliage. Phosphorous also promotes cell division and plant growth.  Plants will show they are Phosphorous deficient with dark purple colored leaves and will often mature at a slower rate than expected. Plants with too much P will be micro-element deficient (iron, zinc) and may have chlorosis – a yellowing of the area between the leaf’s veins, while the vein lines on the leaves remain green. Phosphorous doesn’t flow readily through the soil and works best when applied at the plant roots.

K = Potassium: For plant’s overall health and vigor. Adequate levels of Potassium ensure the overall health and longevity of plants. Plants will show they are Potassium deficient with browning/darkened edges (almost look burnt) on their leaves and will often produce very few blooms/fruit. There is no level at which K becomes toxic to plants, but excessive K can block the absorption of the other two nutrients. Similar to Phosphorous, Potassium does not move readily through the soil. Again, to do the most good, it should be applied near the plant roots.


Our Mix Ingredients

Coconut Coir Fiber – Made out of the external hard shell of the coconut (husk), organic coir fiber has excellent water holding ability.  Adding it into our soils/mixes aids in moisture retention and protecting the soil from drying out and hardening.  It also helps increase plant’s nutrient retention and promotes essential aeration/drainage.

 Dehydrated Cow Manure – Dehydrated Cow Manure is 100% all-natural material straight from the farms of Southern Lancaster County, PA.  It mixes readily into deficient soil to add slow-release nutrients and to help loosen and aerate clay.

 Gypsum – Gypsum is a soft sulfate mineral (calcium sulfate dihydrate.)  It provides an excellent source of calcium and sulfur for plant nutrition. It improves water holding capacity, root development and the soil quality.

 Lime – Calicitic and Dolomitic Limestone is an acid-soluble material used to raise the pH of acidic soil (raising the pH reduces the acidity and increases the alkalinity.) It provides a source of calcium and magnesium for plants, which also helps to improve water penetration.

 Micronutrients Fertilizer – Micronutrients include: boron (B), copper (Cu), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), molybdenum (Mo), zinc (Zn), nickel (Ni) and chloride (Cl). They are added as a natural growth enhancer and support the structural and functional integrity of the plant.

 Mushroom Compost – The mushroom growing process uses organic materials such as horse manure, bedding and straw, hay, cocoa hulls, poultry manure, gypsum, and corn cobs. After the mushrooms are harvested, the leftover material is a dark, nutrient infused, organic compost that is ideal for your garden or lawn needs. Mushroom compost can improve the structure of clay soils, reduce surface crusting and compaction, promote drainage, increase microbial activity, and provide nutrients to turfgrasses.

 Perlite – Perlite is a soil additive that is actually made from mined volcanic glass. When mixed into soil, it allows more air around the plant’s roots, which provides for more uniform root penetration. It also helps to lighten soil and improves water drainage.

 Pine Bark Fines – Native loblolly pine bark is mixed with peat moss and aged to a dark organic material. Their unique composition adds porosity and loam as well as aids in retaining nutrients and water in the ground.

 Sphagnum Peat Moss – Canadian sphagnum peat moss provides added organic matter that helps with aeration and root establishment on new plantings.

 Sand – Sand is naturally occurring rock and mineral particles. Adding it into the soil helps keep the soil from compacting and helps with drainage.

 Silt – Silt is a fine sand and clay sediment. It stores nutrients and aids in water retention.

 Vermiculite – Vermiculite is a natural mineral that can soak up 3-4 times its volume in water. When used as a growing medium, it helps keep the soil moist. It also attracts and holds plant nutrients such as calcium and phosphorus.

 Wetting Agents
Wetting agents are compounds that reduce the surface tension of water to allow it to spread drops onto a surface, increasing the “spreading abilities” of a liquid. Adding it to the soil helps to protect the mix from drying out and hardening (great for hanging baskets and window boxes)