A Comprehensive Guide to 19-19-19 Fertilizer: Maximizing Plant Growth

Are you faced with the challenging task of selecting the most suitable fertilizer for your plants? The abundance of options available can be overwhelming, leaving you unsure of the right choice. Should you opt for organic or synthetic? How about liquid or granules? And what about the coveted NPK ratio? Worry not, for we’re here to demystify the world of 19-19-19 fertilizer. In this article, we’ll delve into its composition, providing you with a comprehensive understanding, and offer valuable recommendations on its effective usage.

What Makes Up 19-19-19 Fertilizer?

At its very core, 19-19-19 fertilizer consists of three essential macronutrients in equal proportions: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. These nutrients play a pivotal role in the growth and development of plants. While the numbers 19-19-19 provide insight into the nutrient percentages, it’s important to note that the fertilizer may also contain additional elements like magnesium and sulfur. To gain a complete breakdown of the nutrients present within the 19-19-19 fertilizer, refer to the product label.

The Versatility of 19-19-19 Fertilizer

19-19-19 fertilizer is particularly advantageous for crops that require well-balanced amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. It serves as an excellent nutrient source for various plants, such as grass lawns, hayfields, vegetable fields, and spring trees that are entering their growth phase. However, it’s worth noting that as plants mature, their nutritional requirements change, making 19-19-19 fertilizer less suitable. Read on to discover how to effectively use 19-19-19 fertilizer for different types of plants.

Exploring Different Types of 19-19-19 Fertilizer

Typically, triple 19 fertilizers consist of synthetic nutrients. This is because synthetic products tend to offer a higher concentration of nutrients per weight compared to their organic counterparts. Although synthetic 19-19-19 fertilizers are the standard, various forms exist.

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Granular Fertilizer:

Granular fertilizer comes in the form of small, dissolvable granules. Once these granules dissolve in water, they release the nutrients, making them readily available to plants. The application of granular fertilizer can be done by either hand sprinkling it on the soil surface or using a fertilizer spreader. It is recommended to apply granular fertilizer just before rainfall as it allows for proper dissolution and soil penetration. Certain types of granular triple 19 fertilizers release nutrients gradually over several months, ensuring a steady supply for plants.

Liquid Fertilizer:

While finding liquid 19-19-19 fertilizer is not common, solid alternatives designed for foliar applications are available. Instead of applying these fertilizers directly to the soil, they are dissolved in water and sprayed onto the leaves of the plants. This method, known as foliar feeding, rapidly supplies essential nutrients to plants.

Mastering the Application of 19-19-19 Fertilizer

To effectively apply 19-19-19 fertilizer, it is crucial to consider the specific plant you are nurturing. Below are some guidelines for using this fertilizer on common crops:

Grass Lawns:

For established lawns, 19-19-19 fertilizer is not the optimal choice. Instead, consider a fertilizer with a higher nitrogen content, a small amount of potassium, and no phosphorus. This combination provides the best results for your lawn’s needs. However, 19-19-19 fertilizer can serve as an ideal starter fertilizer for newly seeded lawns. The increased phosphorus content aids in establishing strong roots, while potassium facilitates water and nutrient transportation. For new lawns, apply five pounds of 19-19-19 fertilizer per 1000 square feet.

Vegetable Gardens:

Conducting a soil test before fertilizing your vegetable garden is always a good practice. This test helps determine the existing nutrient composition and guides your fertilizer choice. If you opt not to perform a soil test, a balanced fertilizer like 19-19-19 can still serve as a suitable starting point. Apply this fertilizer approximately a week before or after planting, ideally right before rainfall or by watering your garden after fertilizing. A recommended application rate is five pounds per 1000 square feet. After the initial application, switch to fertilizers tailored to specific vegetable types.

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Using 19-19-19 fertilizer for trees can be highly beneficial as it provides the essential macronutrients required for healthy growth. However, it is crucial to avoid over-application due to the fertilizer’s elevated nutrient concentration, which can result in nutrient burn. Apply the fertilizer once a year in early spring for shade trees, evergreen trees, and fruit trees such as apple trees. The amount of fertilizer needed depends on the tree’s size. Measure the trunk’s diameter one foot above the ground and apply one pound of fertilizer for every inch and a half of trunk diameter. Sprinkle the fertilizer evenly around the base of the tree’s trunk and water it well.


Due to its high nutrient content, 19-19-19 fertilizer is not recommended for houseplants. The risk of nutrient burn outweighs the potential benefits. Instead, opt for a product with a lower NPK ratio, such as 1-1-1 or 3-3-3.

Flowering Plants:

During the early spring when new growth is budding, 19-19-19 fertilizer can provide flowering plants like azaleas, roses, and hibiscus with the necessary nutrients for optimal development. However, keep in mind that 19-19-19 fertilizer contains higher nutrient levels than required. Therefore, sprinkle only a small spoonful around the base of each plant during spring. Subsequently, transition to a specialized flowering fertilizer with reduced nitrogen levels and increased phosphorus and potassium content to support flower production.


Fertilizing hay fields may not be a common practice, but it can significantly enhance crop health. When considering fertilizers for hay cultivation, keep in mind that the harvested plants remove the nutrients they contain. Furthermore, the plants themselves do not contain equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Opt for a fertilizer high in potassium and low in phosphorus, with a recommended NPK ratio around 20-5-30.

Food Plots:

If you’re growing food plots for animals, 19-19-19 fertilizer can effectively promote plant growth. However, it is best used as a starter fertilizer. Once your plants are established, switch to a fertilizer with a higher percentage of nitrogen than phosphorus and potassium. For optimal results, apply 10 to 15 pounds of 19-19-19 fertilizer per acre before or immediately after planting.

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The Timeframe for 19-19-19 Fertilizer to Take Effect

Most types of 19-19-19 fertilizer begin supplying nutrients to plants as soon as they dissolve in water. However, visible changes may take some time to appear. If your plants were previously nutrient deficient, improvements should start to show within a few weeks of applying the fertilizer.

Top Picks for Triple 19 Fertilizers

If you’re in search of a reliable 19-19-19 fertilizer, consider the following options:

The Andersons 19-19-19 Fertilizer:

This classic triple 19 fertilizer from The Andersons is available in a convenient granular form. It contains 19% nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. While it doesn’t include secondary or micronutrients, you can supplement these elements with additional fertilizers. The granular form allows for easy application using a spreader. The Andersons 19-19-19 Fertilizer can be found online, with prices ranging from $30 to $35 for a 50-pound bag.

Grasshopper 19-19-19 Foliar Fertilizer:

For foliar feeding applications, Grasshopper 19-19-19 fertilizer is an excellent choice. This product is specifically designed for spraying on crops. The supplier suggests mixing one 25-pound bag with 24 to 30 gallons of water. For large-acreage crops like hay and corn, apply 25 pounds of fertilizer for every two acres. Calibration of your sprayer is essential to ensure the correct amount is applied. Reapply the fertilizer approximately every month to maintain a continuous nutrient supply. Grasshopper 19-19-19 Foliar Fertilizer is available on Amazon, with a price of $64.00 per 25-pound bag.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use 19-19-19 Fertilizer Over Existing Clover?

Technically, you can apply 19-19-19 fertilizer over existing clover. However, it may not be the most effective approach. Clover has the ability to fix nitrogen from the atmosphere, rendering additional nitrogen fertilizer unnecessary.

How Much 19-19-19 Fertilizer Should I Apply per Acre?

If you’re using 19-19-19 fertilizer as a starter fertilizer for lawns, food plots, or hay, aim to apply between 10 and 15 pounds per acre.

Is 19-19-19 Fertilizer Suitable for Vegetable Gardens?

For vegetable gardens, 19-19-19 fertilizer can serve as an excellent starter fertilizer. However, larger fruiting crops like tomatoes and peppers may benefit from a fertilizer with a higher phosphorus content and lower nitrogen levels.

In Conclusion

When searching for a balanced fertilizer with abundant nutrients, 19-19-19 fertilizer stands out as an ideal choice. Its versatility makes it a reliable option for lawns, food plots, hay, vegetable gardens, trees, and flowering plants. By following the guidelines for each plant type and understanding their specific nutrient requirements, you can ensure optimal growth and yield. For more information and further assistance, visit Hook’d Up Bar and Grill, your go-to source for all things related to 19-19-19 fertilizer.