Whether you are a veteran gardener, a hard-working homesteader or just a homeowner that wants to keep the lawn looking emerald-green and perfect, you’ve got to know how best to feed and care for your plants.
Plants get most of their nutrition from the soil, and as they feed soil nutrient levels drop over time. That’s where you come in, as you’ll need to add nutrients back to the soil by the use of fertilizer.
But you’ll need to add the right kind and the right amounts if you don’t want to fry your plants.
To help you pick the right kind of fertilizer, we’ll be looking at all of the most common ones, and today we are checking out 6-24-24.
What Does 6-24-24 Signify for Fertilizer?
The three numbers you see signified in 6-24-24 indicate the ratio, by percentage, of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium present in the fertilizer.
The rest of the bag, by volume, will be filler or other ingredients. You’ll also see this ratio expressed as NPK, standing for the same things. The K, by the way, stands for potassium because that is the atomic symbol for it!
Knowing what these numbers represent you can quickly assess any type and brand of fertilizer for suitability because you’ll know how much of each essential nutrient it contains for your plants.
What Ingredients are Typically in 6-24-24 Fertilizer?
6-24-24 contains the big three, naturally, being nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. These are nutrients that pretty much all plants need, but they need them in different amounts and at different times.
In this case, 6-24-24 contains a little bit of nitrogen and a lot more phosphorus and potassium.
But aside from these three primary ingredients, it will also contain a variety of other things depending on what the manufacturer decides to include.
This can be additional minerals like iron, supplemental things like lime, or even specialty ingredients like soil conditioners, pest repellent, and other stuff.
You might need or want a fertilizer that is very clean, without any additional stuff in it, or you might want a comprehensive fertilizer solution that can do more for your plants over time.
You can get anything you want, just make sure you check the label of anything you plan on buying before you buy it!
Benefits of 6-24-24 Fertilizer
6-24-24 is not exactly a general-purpose fertilizer, but it has something to offer for most plants and lawns when used correctly. Nitrogen is always needed for leafy, green growth.
If you have fruits and vegetables, phosphorus is what will help them produce fruits in the first place. Meanwhile, potassium improves disease resistance…
But many types of fertilizers have much more nitrogen and phosphorus in them, but 6-24-24 does not while still having a relatively high percentage of potassium.
This makes it a dependable choice for plants that don’t need much nitrogen or any that have delicate root systems as they are less likely to be shocked or burned by this fertilizer while still getting the nutrients they need.
What Plants Is 6-24-24 Fertilizer Best For?
6-24-24 is a great fertilizer for use on plants that are known to be sensitive, or any that already have access to plenty of nitrogen in the soil already.
Cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers and beans are all common veggies that will benefit from 6-24-24; the phosphorous content will help them produce large and healthy fruits, but the lower nitrogen level will help prevent burning.
It can also be good for lawns that are generally healthy, but are stressed from weather or other things.
Because this is a fertilizer that has a highly specific use case, you generally don’t want to reach for it as your go-to for an all-purpose fertilizer, but other than that it is good for most plants.
When Should You Use 6-24-24 Fertilizer?
The ideal time to use 6-24-24 is anytime your plants or lawn need a shot of nutrition but you’re testing reveals that they already have access to plenty of nitrogen in the soil.
If you grow mostly delicate plants vulnerable to burning, 6-24-24 might be the right choice. It was also a popular one for use in soils that are heavy with clay.
If your lawn seems stressed and is turning yellow all over, but testing reveals it isn’t due to a particular lack of minerals and nitrogen in particular, 6-24-24 can help to curb the stress and allow your lawn to recover without overfeeding it.
When’s the Best Time To Apply 6-24-24?
Like all other fertilizers, and especially like any fertilizer that contains nitrogen, you should apply 6-24-24 either early in the morning or late in the evening.
This is so you don’t apply it during the warmest part of the day when plants and grass will be getting the most sunshine.
Fertilizing when temperatures are high is a surefire way to scald or burn up your plants.
You don’t want that to happen (unless you hate your plants!) so you don’t want to fertilize during the day unless the plants you are fertilizing have full-time shade or it is on a completely overcast, cloudy day.
How Much 6-24-24 Fertilizer Should You Use per Acre?
The precise amount of 6-24-24 you should apply depends entirely on how much nutrients you want to put back into the soil, and the only way you’ll know that is to perform a soil test and then determine how much fertilizer to use based on the equipment you’ll be using.
But, lacking this information, you can resort to the tried and true standby of 1 lb of fertilizer per 1000 sqft of ground you are fertilizing.
What’s the Best Method to Apply 6-24-24 Fertilizer?
Again, this depends on the type of fertilizer you buy. If you buy liquid, you may need to dilute it prior to application with a handheld sprayer, backpack sprayer or a water hose attachment.
If you have powder or granules, you can apply it with a broadcaster as normal but you will need to water it in afterwards. Other options might be slow-release spikes that you drive into the ground.
Generally speaking, if you use a liquid you’ll need to apply it fertilizer more often since it will be absorbed, and used, by plants more quickly. Granules and even powders take more time to dissolve and release their nutrients into the soil.
Is 6-24-24 Fertilizer Good for Lawns?
It can be. 6-24-24 is good for lawns that already have plenty of nitrogen and phosphorus, but may need some extra potassium to help protect them from stress.
Is 6-24-24 Fertilizer Good for Gardens?
Yes, generally. Once again, it makes a good option for any plants that are delicate, or plants that already have some nutrients but need a little boost of phosphorus and potassium. If you have any fruits or veggies that don’t need much nitrogen, 6-24-24 is a good idea.
What’s the Average Price of 6-24-24 Fertilizer?
6-24-24 usually retails for between .15 and .23 cents an ounce, although you should expect to find it cheaper if you are buying a large quantity.
Where Can You Buy 6-24-24 Fertilizer?
You can find 6-24-24 at most well-equipped lawn care centers, garden centers, nurseries, hardware stores and home improvement stores. It is also widely available online in a variety of formats.
What’s the Best 6-24-24 Fertilizer Brand?
Although not the most commonly used type of fertilizer, there are several good brands out there. I personally like The Andersons 6-24-24.
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.