Triple Fertilizers: Unpacking the Power of NPK 14-14-14 and More

Delve into the benefits of NPK 14-14-14 and similar triple fertilizers for optimal plant growth and enhanced crop yields.

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You may have just sown your crop or they may be in the active reproductive stage. Irrespective of the growing cycle of the plants, shrubs, or trees, they need a steady and balanced amount of nutrients. Fortunately, this can be fulfilled with NPK 14-14-14

We will dive into the NPK 14-14-14 to understand its usefulness. We will discuss them in detail including how to use and apply them for best results.

What is NPK 14-14-14?

NPK 14-14-14 is a slow-releasing fertilizer that contains three nutrients: nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. All these are present in equal proportions, i.e., 14%. 

Understanding the role of NPK 14-14-14

NPK 14 14 14

The advantages of NPK 14-14-14 are deeply tied to their ingredients. Here is what the ingredients do to enhance a plant’s growth. 

Nitrogen

In order to grow well, a plant needs about 1.75% of its weight in nitrogen. It needs this nutrient to produce amino acids, proteins, and chlorophyll. Nitrogen is an essential element in making chlorophyll. Too little nitrogen will result in a lack of chlorophyll, making the leaves turn yellow, and too much makes leaves appear like a claws.

Potassium

For a plant to stay healthy, it requires 1.5 percent potassium. This nutrient helps in water management and enzyme function. With not enough potassium, plants may wilt. On the contrary, if there is extra potassium in the soil, the plant will take it, affecting its ability to absorb magnesium. 

Phosphorus

A healthy plant contains 0.25% phosphorus by mass. This nutrient is responsible for lipid and carbohydrate metabolism, protein synthesis, and cell development. If there is a deficit in phosphorus content, the plant may not grow new shoots, and the leaves may turn pale, blue-green, or crimson.

How to use NPK 14-14-14?

Go step by step as instructed below when using NPK 14-14-14 in your farm or garden.

Step 1: Select a method

Before applying the fertilizer, select a method that suits you. You can either use NPK 14-14-14 granules or a sprayer to apply the fertilizer. 

  • Granular method: use the correct settings for an even distribution
  • Sprayer method: dilute the fertilizer. The ratio should be 1 -2 cups in a gallon of water. Wait for it to dissolve properly before applying it.

When using the granular method, don’t forget to rake it into the soil to ensure the plants receive them. Sprinkle water and let the plant grow. 

Step 2: Conduct a soil test

This method will give you a clear idea of how much fertilizer you need.

Step 3: Apply

On the basis of the application rate calculated, spread 14-14-14 fertilizer to your plants using the selected method.

Then water the plants regularly and wait. While plants fed with granular fertilizer will take time to bloom, those that receive liquid fertilizer will grow quickly. 

When to Use NPK 14-14-14?

When to Use NPK 14-14-14

Generally, late afternoons and early evenings are the best time to apply NPK 14-14-14 fertilizer to your plants. However, if you add the fertilizer in the early morning or afternoon, you risk burning the plants. This is because the plants are either dry or damp and may face an adverse effect if fed at these times. 

Here’s how: the fertilizer will get glued to the wet plant, potentially burning it. On the other hand, the granules will drop down through the blades of the grass bringing no benefit at all. 

What should be the Frequency of NPK 14-14-14 Application?

Generally, one application of 14-14-14 fertilizers is sufficient for one growing season. However, it may vary a little in some cases.

Vegetable gardens: fruiting trees require potassium and phosphorus to produce a healthy crop. But, apply it in the 2nd year, as immature plants may be damaged by excess nitrogen. Also, a prior soil test is mandatory to avert the formation of mycorrhizal fungi due to extra phosphorus content and chlorosis due to extra nitrogen. 

Houseplants: Indoor plants, such as in pots, benefit greatly from triple 14 application. Just spread around near the roots, rake, and water. 

Lawn: Apply it every three to four months in the growing seasons. This will help grow a healthy turf. But avoid overfertilization and, thence, burning. A fertilizer spreader is a good option for bigger lawns.

Flowers: A majority of flowers require balanced nutrients, such as in NPK 14-14-14. Spread it once around the roots on the soil every growing season, and it will be sufficient. 

What Plants Do Not Benefit from NPK 14-14-14?

While triple fertilizers are good for most plants, few may reap similar advantages. These include:

Green leafy vegetables: Cabbage, herbs, lettuce, and a few more green leafy vegetables require a large amount of nitrogen, especially during the harvest season. NPK 14-14-14 has enough, but it is still not sufficient for these plants as they need more. Not only this, phosphorus and potassium will encourage flowering and seed formation, something green leafy vegetables do not require.  

Phosphorus-sensitive plants: Phosphorus can have adverse effects on some plants, such as banksias, grevilleas, and melaleucas. They grow on Australian desert soil, which is low in phosphorus content. If supplied with NPK 14-14-14, they may get damaged. 

Precautions for NPK 14-14-14

Precautions for NPK 14-14-14

Keeping your plants safe should be of paramount importance. When applying NPK 14-14-14, pay attention to the following:

Avoid overfertilization: If the plant receives more than it requires, it may result in withering, burning, stunted growth, yellowing leaves, and excessive foliage with few blooms. Similarly, too little fertilizer can result in discoloration, flowering, and reduction in root development. 

Proper Storage: If you are left with some fertilizer, store it properly. Make sure to keep it away from pets and children.

Protection: Nitrogen is harmful to the touch. Always wear gloves when applying NPK 14-14-14 and wash your hands afterward to prevent chemical burns. Protecting your eyes is equally important. So, wear safety glasses.

Parting Thoughts

NPK 14-14-14 has several roles to play in healthy plant growth. So whether you use them for potted plants or open lawns, these will prove worthy. However, be cautious when applying, and do not go overboard or add miserly. Just remember the information shared in this article and use it to enjoy a happy lawn or garden. 

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