Gardening Articles: Care :: Soil, Water, & Fertilizer

Watering & Fertilizing Beans (page 2 of 2)

by National Gardening Association Editors

Fertilizing by the Numbers

The numbers on the fertilizer bags indicate by weight what percentages of each of the three most important nutrients - nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) - are present in the mixture. Although the percentages may vary, the order is always the same: N, P and K. For instance, 5-10-10, which is good for beans, indicates the fertilizer contains 5% nitrogen, 10% phosphorus and 10% potassium. Nitrogen promotes healthy green leaves and stems, and you don't need much of it for beans. If you have too much, the plant will spend more time making leaves and less time making beans. Phosphorus promotes strong roots and potassium conditions the whole plant, helping it to bear fruit and resist disease.

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