I want a 20,20,20 all purpose fertilizer.

west_gardenerFebruary 4, 2014

But I'm having a hard time finding one.
Any suggestions?

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jim_1 Zone 5B Illinois(5b)

If your local garden center does not have that, then ask for a 10, 10, 10 (in my opinion a better choice anyway). You really might not need those numbers. Don't assume that a larger number really the better combination for your plants.

Talk with the folks at your local garden center, tell them what you want and why and see what their advice is.


    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 12:33PM
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You should be able to find 16-16-16. Try a farm supply.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 1:00PM
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We use a wettable powder that we get at the local farm supply in 20 lb. bags. We mix it 1/4 strength and apply it with a Syphonex once a week. It comes in a 20 20 20 formula.

Grow More Water Soluble Fertilizers

We also use a slow release pelleted fertilizer every three months. We buy this in 50lb. bags for major savings also at the farm supply.


This combination works well for us.

Here is a link that might be useful: Link to albums with many more pictures..

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 4:10PM
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Thanks for your replies. I think it will become clear that I don't know much about fertilizers, so please bear with me.
I'm trying to find an all purpose fertilizer , so I don't have to buy special fertilizers for each plant,that can get expensive. and people kept mentioning 20,20,20, they also mentioned that it could be diluted by increments. That's my kind if thing.
I've used the time released fertilizer and that works well, but I really like the idea of adding a spray.
Don, your garden pics are wonderful. So lush.
I see that you have a pic with ferns and impatients,among other things, in the same bed. That's what I want for my front door bed.
Sorry if I'm rambling on, but I'm so excited to get answers to my question and look at beautiful garden pics.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 6:53PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

The key is to look for water soluble products, as don mentions.
20-20-20 is a very common ratio for solubles.....not so much for granulated products. Your all purpose fertilizer doesn't need to be
20-20-20, by the way. I always opt for a lower N (nitrogen, first number) percentage and the addition of minor elements.

By the way, plants are far more efficient at taking up dissolved elements via their root systems, not the foliage. Use a much diluted solution to water the soil, not so much to spray on top of the foliage.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 12:13PM
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gmatx zone 6

Don, your pictures are just what I needed as I sit here trying to warm up my feet after being out in the snow repairing the electrical supply line to the stock tank heaters! However, now envy is rolling in waves from me.....and yes, I know envy is a sin, but well..............dang, what can I say!

West_gardener, I use water-soluble Peters 20-20-20 in my greenhouse that is sent through a Dosomatic which I can change the ratio of dilution on at any time. As Rhizo_1 indicated, you might consider looking for a fertilizer of a lower nitrogen ratio, perhaps in the 10-20-10 formulation. If my greenhouse crop is young, I also have a container of a 9-45-15 solution mixed up which I pull through the Dosomatic instead of the 20-20-20. This develops the roots and encourages budding and blooming without having excessive foliage growth and low bud/bloom performance. As Don mentioned, if you purchase a 20-20-20 fertilizer, you might try mixing it at a much reduced strength and try it that way first. You can always mix it stronger if you don't see the results you want. The Syphonex that Don mentioned is a good tool to use. Be sure to read the ratio that is listed on the box and match that to the strength that you mix your container of solution to. I think that Syphonex pulls at a 1:16 ratio.

Drying the drool from my keyboard and my chin, I remain transfixed by Don's pictures.......sigh.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 2:14PM
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Thanks again for your suggestions. I really appreciate your input.
For years and years I've used the same fertilizer, but now I'm running out and I can't find it in the stores. So, I'm on the quest for a new one.
I knew that I came to the right place here at the GP asking for advice.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 7:18PM
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The garden and the pictures are all Missy's doing, I am only responsible for assisting with watering, soil mixing and some of the digging and building. I do trees, she does plants and we both lecture for garden clubs.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 8:23PM
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Don, it looks like you and Missy are very good gardening partners. I'm enjoying your albums.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2014 at 7:28PM
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