NPK Fertilizer : What is it & How does it Function?

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Nutrients are essential for any form of living being. Therefore, you have to make arrangements so that the Bermuda grass in your lawn stays strong and healthy. Grass, being a flora, requires plant-specific nutrients.

There are three vital macronutrients required for proper growth, development, and maintenance of plants, namely Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K). All plant fertilizers have these three standard elements, hence, the term ‘NPK fertilizer.’

Let’s know what role each of the element plays in a grass’s life.

What Role does Each Elements of N-P-K Play?

Nitrogen (N)

Nitrogen is one among the essential elements required by the grass (plants in general). First and foremost, it forms a crucial component of chlorophyll, which is vital for the performance of photosynthesis. Besides, nitrogen also forms a part of amino acid which is the building block of protein for grass. It also plays some role in the storage and use of energy.

Phosphorus (P)

Phosphorus ensures proper functioning of various aspects responsible for a healthy plant. It is responsible for plant growth, its structural strength, root development and also helps in the development of plant oils and starch. Additionally, it aids in converting solar energy into chemical form.

Potassium (K)

Potassium plays a passive element in plant growth. Its presence helps in activation of various enzymes throughout the plant. The plants’ immunity and ability to handle external factors like weather comes from potassium. Apart from this, it helps in conversion of sugar to starch and also dictates characteristics like shape, size, and color.

You have to supply these nutrients to have a healthy Bermuda grass carpet in your lawn.

That said, you will want to know – what is the best ratio of NPK fertilizer?

What is the recommended NPK ratio

Performing a soil test will tell you a lot about your garden soil. Which elements it is rich in, which elements it lacks, everything would be clear. It can be a tedious job, examining soil every time you want to add fertilizer to enhance health and growth. The good thing is, you do not have to be precise with your NPK ratios to use in the lawn or garden.

Generally, NPK ratios of 4-1-2 to 10-1-2 will suit most of the soils.

The recommended N-P-K ratio for lawn fertilizers could be either 3-1-2 or 4-1-2. Most fertilizers supply nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in ratios of 5-1-2, 4-1-2 or 3-1-2 which is suitable for healthy grass growth.

Apart from these ratios, the standard lawn fertilization NPK ratios are 16-4-8, 12-4-8 and 18-24-6.

Other elements

Besides these three predominant elements, there are various other macronutrients and micronutrients found in fertilizers.


Some amount of Magnesium and Sulfur is found in plants which help in photosynthesis. Magnesium aids in the activation of many enzymes. Sulfur is present in some amino acids and membranes. Deficiency of Magnesium and Sulfur causes chlorosis which leads to discoloration in plants.


Iron, Manganese, Zinc, Boron, Copper are some of the micronutrients which help plants fight against diseases, synthesis of amino acids and chlorophyll, transportation of sugars and also in the process of photosynthesis.

This article was a short insight into plant fertilizers; what are they and how do they work. We hope you learned something new from it. If you have any queries, leave comments below.


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