Soil quality is one of the most important when growing plants. Whether it is flowers or crops, among others, healthy soil is a pre-requisite for optimal growth. To ensure this, fertilizers will help.

Fertilizers contain chemicals that promote plant growth. Whether it is in your backyard garden or commercial agricultural land, fertilizers are important. They provide the nutrition that the soil needs while also increasing crop yield.

Not all fertilizers are created the same. They are different in terms of their chemical composition and applications. In this short guide, our focus will be on using 20-20-20 fertilizer.

What is 20-20-20 Fertilizer?

Plants need three main macro-nutrients – nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. These are three of the ingredients that you should be looking for in a fertilizer. Depending on the plants that you are growing, you will need varying levels of these nutrients.

In a 20-20-20 fertilizer, it means that you will find 20% nitrogen, 20% phosphorus, and 20% potassium. It means that there is a balance of the three nutrients.

These numbers can also be used as a reference to determine how much of the fertilizer should be applied to the soil. Divide 100 by 20, and this will be indicative of how many pounds of the fertilizer will be needed to add one pound of nutrient to the soil. Meaning, if you need 1 pound of nitrogen, then you should add 5 pounds (100/20) of the fertilizer.

The Best Triple 20 Fertilizer in the Market

The options will be plenty, but this does not mean that you should pick just any product and expect exceptional results. To help you decide, here are some of the products that should be on your list.

JR Peters 52024 Jacks Classic No. 1.5 20-20-20 All-Purpose Fertilizer

As an all-purpose fertilizer, this product promises to provide the NPK needs of all indoor and outdoor plants. According to the manufacturer, it is great for shrubs, perennials, evergreens, bulbs, and vegetables, among others.

Aside from NPK, it also contains boron, copper, iron, manganese, and zinc. Even in small concentrations, these chemicals will provide the complete nutritional needs of your plant.

This fertilizer is made by a company that has been around since 1947. They are experts in the horticulture industry, so you can be confident that their products will deliver the highest level of effectiveness.

With the balanced formula of this fertilizer, it claims to be effective in encouraging rapid growth and leaf expansion. It is great for vegetables since it can encourage greener colors. Meanwhile, for flowers, it can help achieve brighter colors.

Grow More 5010 All-Purpose Fertilizer 20-20-20

The brand name of this fertilizer speaks exactly of what it can do. This will let you grow more using a 100% water-soluble fertilizer.

For the best results, make sure to follow the recommendations of the manufacturer regarding its usage. The general dosage is one tablespoon for every one gallon of water. It can be used for both foliar and soil applications. Either way, you can be guaranteed of its effectiveness.

It is important to note, however, that it can be difficult to dissolve in water. It will take a while before it will liquefy, so make sure to be patient.

Southern AG PowerPak 20-20-20 Water Soluble Fertilizer

Whether you are growing flowers, shrubs, or trees, among others, this is another great option for an effective triple 20 fertilizer. With the essential nutrients found in this product, you can expect larger and healthier plants.

Aside from 20% nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, it also contains chelated minor elements. It has zinc, iron, manganese, and copper.

One of the best things about this fertilizer is that it comes in a zipper pouch. This makes it easy to seal the bag and maintain freshness after every use.

To use this fertilizer, the manufacturer recommends using only two teaspoons for every gallon of water. Repeat every seven to ten days depending on what is needed. For lawn and turf application, on the other hand, you will need about 1 pound for every 10 gallons of water per 1,000 square feet.

The Right and Wrong Way of Applying 20-20-20 Fertilizer

The proper way of applying fertilizer is the key to unlocking its effectiveness. It does not take an expert gardener to fertilize plants the right way. Take note of the recommendations below.

What To Do

  • Do test the soil before the application of any fertilizer. This is important to determine the nutrients that are present and lacking. From here, you will easily determine the fertilizers that are needed.
  • Do choose the right type. These fertilizers can be granular or water-soluble. Granular means that it delivers food slowly. This is against water-soluble fertilizers, which are quickly absorbed.
  • Do apply the fertilizer at the right time. Timing is crucial for the success of fertilizing. For instance, in most plants, it is best to apply before spring. When it is too early or too late, you might not achieve the desired outcomes.

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What Not To Do

  • Do not use the same fertilizer in the same plants. They have varying needs. For instance, tomatoes will need balanced nutrients when they are growing. Carrots, on the other hand, need higher potassium and lower nitrogen.
  • Do not apply more than what is needed. Excessive application of the fertilizer will not make plants grow quicker and bigger. Instead, it can do more harm than good. Oversaturating can also make the soil soggy, which some plants will hate.
  • Do not apply the fertilizer directly to the plant or soil. Follow the instructions from the manufacturer. In most cases, you will need to dilute it first. Mix it with water depending on how much chemicals the plant will need.


In sum, a 20-20-20 fertilizer means that it has 20% each of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, which are three of the most important nutrients that plants need. This will provide well-balanced chemicals. However, take note that it can be too much for some plants, so consider what your crops need before its application.

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