If you’re a gardener, a farmer or just a homeowner who wants to keep your property looking at tip top and front page ready, you’ve got to know how to care for your plants. It might be a garden full of vegetables, fields’ worth of crops or just a nice, tight and bright green lawn.
What do they all have in common? They all need nutrients and other resources found in fertile soil.
When soil starts to run out of resources, or if you start a planting on depleted soil, you’ll need to fertilize to ensure that your plants get what they need.
But learning which fertilizer to use when, and how much of is quite the undertaking until you’re experienced enough, so the dizzying array of fertilizers on the market is easy to get you overwhelmed.
I’m going to turn that learning cliff into a gentle learning curve today, bringing you a guide that will tell you what you need to know about 0-0-60 fertilizer…
What Does 0-0-60 Signify for Fertilizer?
You ever wonder what 0-0-60 or any other sequence of numbers on a container of fertilizer means? It’s actually relatively simple.
The 0-0-60 signifies the ratios, by percentage, of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) respectively in the fertilizer blend.
This lets you know at a glance how much and what kinds of nutrients a given type of fertilizer will put into the soil and subsequently your plants.
Knowing this, it’s easy to see that 0-0-60 contains only potassium, and 60% of the fertilizer is pure potassium! That is an incredibly high amount compared to most other types of fertilizer where 15% of any one element is considered high.
What Ingredients are Typically in 0-0-60 Fertilizer?
0-0-60 fertilizer is made up only one primary element: potassium. Though plants typically need all three elements commonly found in fertilizer, 0-0-60 is far more specialized.
It usually contains a form of potassium called muriate of potash, which is an extremely concentrated source of the nutrient.
Depending on the brand and type of 0-0-60, you might also find that it contains some other trace nutrients and other additives like micronutrients and chelated iron.
Benefits of 0-0-60 Fertilizer
0-0-60 has one thing going for it, and one thing only: it has lots of potassium! Potassium is an essential macronutrient for plants that helps facilitate the movement of nutrients, water, and carbohydrates throughout the plant.
It also plays a key role in the photosynthesis process, allowing plants to convert sunlight into energy. Potassium helps regulate growth and development, promotes flowering and fruiting, increases drought resistance and disease tolerance, and strengthens cell walls.
Without an adequate supply of potassium, plants will suffer nutrient deficiencies that can prevent them from thriving.
This is why plants that are suffering from potassium deficiency or are planted in potassium-depleted soils struggle so much: you can give them all of the nitrogen and phosphorous you want, and amend the soil with anything else, but if they don’t have potassium they cannot make use of the other nutrients!
Because of this, potassium is essential for health, and major supplementation is needed whenever soil levels are lacking.
What Plants is 0-0-60 Fertilizer Best For?
Potassium is needed by all plants, but not all plants require the same amount.
For instance, potassium hungry plants like tomatoes, potatoes and beans need more than other types of fruit trees or vegetables.
0-0-60 is best suited for these high potassium-demand crops specifically, as they need a much greater concentration of this nutrient than what can be found in most other fertilizers.
However, 0-0-60 is ideal for quickly replenishing potassium levels in depleted soil between plantings or when preparing soil for a first planting- according to test results, of course!
When Should You Use 0-0-60 Fertilizer?
The best time to apply 0-0-60 is in early spring as soon as the soil has thawed, or at any other time when soils are particularly depleted of potassium.
It can be applied directly to the soil around plants or incorporated into compost piles for added benefits. Just make sure you follow all product instructions for usage and application carefully!
You should also reach for 0-0-60 fertilizer when you need a quick boost of potassium for your plants, especially if the soil is already low on it.
You can also apply small amounts throughout the planting season to ensure that there’s always an adequate supply for your plants.
This can have a synergistic effect with future fertilization using other elements since it will prime the plant to make better use of available nutrients.
However, keep in mind that because 0-0-60 only has one nutrient, it should be used in conjunction with other fertilizers that provide balanced nutrition for your plants- nitrogen, phosphorous, and other micronutrients as required. It is in no way a general-purpose fertilizer.
When Is the Best Time To Apply 0-0-60?
As usual, in the early morning or late afternoon is best. Although it doesn’t run the same risk of scorching your plants as ammonia and nitrogen, fertilizing plants during the heat of the day is going to stress them out.
You can maximize benefit and minimize stress by applying 0-0-60 fertilizer in cooler temperatures and ensuring that the soil is moist before application.
How Much 0-0-60 Fertilizer Should You Use per Acre?
This is highly dependent on the type and concentration of the product you buy, and so you should read and follow the instructions on the product packaging.
As always, your choice should be informed by the results of a soil test. Without this data, you’re ultimately just guessing!
In general, or lacking specific instructions, you can resort to the old standard of 1 to 1 1/2 pounds of fertilizer per 1,000 sqft.
If you’re trying to treat an acre of land with 0-0-60, this comes out to approximately 45-68 lbs. per acre.
What’s the Best Method to Apply 0-0-60 Fertilizer?
0-0-60 usually comes in a chunky granule form that is like wet sand, or a dry cake batter. That means you’ll need to use a spreader on larger areas.
For smaller gardens, you can just throw it around the edges and work it into the soil with a rake or garden hoe.
Is 0-0-60 Fertilizer Good for Lawns?
It can be if the soil is very depleted of potassium. As mentioned above, all plants need potassium and that includes grass, but 0-0-60 has nothing else that will help your lawn grow.
You should use a balanced fertilizer that has nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium when fertilizing grass if it isn’t seriously depleted. If you have an existing deficiency of potassium in your lawn, 0-0-60 could be a good choice to help correct it.
Is 0-0-60 Fertilizer Good for Gardens?
Yes, and in the same way as lawns above. 0-0-60 is a special-purpose fertilizer and should be used in conjunction with a balanced fertilizer to provide the full range of nutrients that your plants need.
It is best applied when soils are particularly low in potassium or as a quick boost, but do not use 0-0-60 as an all-purpose fertilizer.
What’s the Average Price of 0-0-60 Fertilizer?
0-0-60 tends to be a little pricier than other common fertilizers, typically retailing for around .20 to .30 cents an ounce, or around $3.20 to $4.80 per pound.
Where Can You Buy 0-0-60 Fertilizer?
0-0-60 is typically available at most nicely-stocked home and garden centers, as well as hardware stores and nurseries. You can also order it online from various retailers.
Keep in mind it might be sold as muriate of potash, but always read the label carefully and pay attention to any special instructions and recommendations for use.
What’s the Best 0-0-60 Fertilizer Brand?
There are plenty of brands out there that are adequate, and most of the ones I’ve used worked just fine. This is one kind of fertilizer where I think brand does not matter that much.
But I do like Easy Peasy All-Natural Muriate of Potash. The granules are uniformly sized and dissolve easily, making it easy to handle, distribute and water.
Tom has lived and worked on farms and homesteads from the Carolinas to Kentucky and beyond. He is passionate about helping people prepare for tough times by embracing lifestyles of self-sufficiency.