Granular 10-10-10 Fertilizer
Granular 10-10-10 Fertilizer

Granular 10-10-10 Fertilizer


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10-10-10 is a fertilizer that contains equal proportions of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. It is used to give plants the main nutrients they need. Because it contains all three macronutrients, it works for most plants, but there are limitations.

Read on to learn about what 10-10-10 fertilizer is, when to use it, when not to use it, and how to apply it.


  • 10-10-10 is also referred to as a complete balanced fertilizer. It contains three plant macronutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium), and is “balanced” because the fertilizer contains the nutrients in an equal percentage of 10%.
  • The fertilizer is added to plants that benefit from an overall general fertilizer boost and don’t have a high need for any specific nutrient.
  • There is no one-fits-all rule on how much 10-10-10 to apply, as this depends on the plants, the soil quality, the time of application, and other factors. Always check the fertilizer label for application rates.

What Is in 10-10-10 Fertilizer?

10-10-10 is also known as NPK fertilizer because it contains the three macronutrients nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) most plants need to thrive. Other micronutrients and ingredients are often added, such as iron for deep greening.

The formula 10-10-10 does not say anything about the sources of those nutrients, which can be synthetic (inorganic) or natural (organic). Read the product label or product sheet for details on the sources of the plant nutrients. Note that organic 10-10-10 fertilizer is not commonly found because organic fertilizers typically contain plant nutrients in lower percentages of concentration.1

Granular 10-10-10 Fertilizer

  • Needs to be broadcast evenly
  • Has to be watered in deeply; failure to do so can burn the plants
  • Slow-release and lasts longer than liquid
  • Granules can get washed away by rainfall
  • Possible health hazard for children and pets until watered into the soil

Which Plants Benefit from 10-10-10 Fertilizer?

10-10-10 is called an all-purpose fertilizer because it can be used on almost any type of outdoor plant, including vegetables, shrubs, trees, flowers, lawns, and houseplants. Generally, it can be applied to any plant that doesn’t need one of the three macronutrients in higher amounts.

How to Use 10-10-10 Fertilizer

There are generally three ways to use 10-10-10: 

By Surface Area (Lawns):

Measure the area to be fertilized, and if in doubt, use less rather than more when applying fertilizer. In addition to measuring the size of your lawn, follow the instructions about when to fertilize depending on the type of grass, and follow the best practices for how to fertilize a lawn

By Individual Plants

To fertilize a tree, which should be done in the spring, calculate the size of the root zone, also called the drip line. After measuring out the amount of required fertilizer, mark the drip line with a garden hose or spray it with natural grass marking paint and mark another circle 3 to 4 feet away from the trunk. Spread the fertilizer evenly between the two circles and make sure the fertilizer does not hit the trunk. Water the fertilizer in deeply. 

For tender plants, follow the label directions and apply to the soil away from the trunk or stem of the plant to prevent burning. Water deeply.

By Plant Row (Crops): 

Measure the length of the plant row in your vegetable garden. Unlike lawns and ornamentals, many vegetables are heavy feeders so you don’t have to worry about overfertilization. Always follow the label instructions for amounts and frequency.


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