How Much Fertilizer per Square Foot for Vegetable Garden Is Needed

How Much Fertilizer per Square Foot for Vegetable Garden Is Needed

The use of fertilizer in the vegetable garden is definitely necessary, and there is no doubt. But do you know why you need to ensure the right amount of fertilizer? Just keep reading.

You know, the soil gets the nutrient from the fertilizer, and then the plant gets. If you don’t apply fertilizer, the soil cannot provide the nutrient to the plant; as a result, the plants grow very slowly or not at all.

The vegetable plants also don’t grow well if they don’t get enough nutrients. If you use less fertilizer than the demand of the soil, the plants cannot get enough nutrients.

On the other side, the excess amount of fertilizer is also not good for the plants. Besides, it also has a negative impact on the surrounding plants and landscape. If the water overflooded from the fertilized area, the fertilizer runs-off and causes various problems of the land.

So, you should always apply the right amount of fertilizer to the vegetable garden. I hope I can make you understand.

But, how do you calculate how much fertilizer per square foot for a vegetable garden is needed, right?

Basically, it depends on various factors, and after understanding and measuring all of them, then you can calculate.

The Following Steps Are Important

It is not such a fact that it can be calculated without considering anything. If you want to know the correct amount of fertilizer per square feet, you should consider the following points; otherwise, it is not possible.

Test the Soil

Though all the steps are important, this step is a bit more significant. So, the first job is to test the soil. You should test the soil exactly of the area where you want to grow your garden.

There are manythings you need to do when you plan to make a garden. Among them, the soil test is important. That means you should test the soil prior to the establishment of the garden. Testing the soil twice a year is ideal. If twice is not possible, you should do this test yearly, of course. It is the formal role but you can also c

Check the soil nutrient status if you see the plants don’t grow well.

You should also do the test from the well-known and reputed lab because correct interpretation is necessary. If you get the wrong interpretation, the calculation will not be appropriate. Usually, the soil report provides detailed information about the pH status, soil texture, nitrogen, potassium, phosphorous, and other nutrients.

Measure the Area

Then you should have the exact idea about the area you want to fertilize. There are many ways to measure the area, but the simplest and easiest way is to measure square footage. After receiving the soil test result, you can know which nutrient is needed for your gardening field.

Anyway, to measure the area, you can follow the following roles. It shows you how to measure the area, and you will get the correct result.

  • Square or rectangular Area = length x Width.
  • Triangular Area = ½ x base x Height.
  • Oval Shaped Area = Length x Width at Midpoint x 0.8
  • Circular Area = 3.14 x Radius2

Now, you have the right measurement of the area. This helps you a lot to calculate the fertilizer.

Which Fertilizer You Should Use

There are different types of fertilizers available in the market. It is also necessary to decide which one is right for your vegetable garden. Usually, there are two major types of fertilizer commonly used organic and inorganic. The inorganic fertilizer should not be used in the organic garden. But there is no problem to use any item in the traditional garden, just ensure you are using the fertilizer properly. Keep it in mind.

Which Nutrient Is More Essential and Calculate Them

Usually, nitrogen, phosphorous, and potash are the major nutrients, and these are contained in the fertilizer. The other nutrients are zinc, sulfur, calcium, iron, and others. The major nutrients are the most important and the nitrogen is more important among them.

If you purchase any fertilizer, you see there have 3 numbers are labeled which are separated by dashes. It indicates the percentage of nitrogen, phosphate, and potash.

For example, if a 5 pound fertilizer bag is labeled 20-27-5, it indicates the fertilizer contains nitrogen 20%, phosphate 27%, and potash 5%. Then if you multiple the percentage with the total weight of the bag, you can know how the exact amount of the nutrients. So the 5 pounds bag contains the nutrients as follows.

  • Nitrogen: 20% (0.20) x 5 = 1 lbs.
  • Phosphate: 27% (0.27) x 5 = 1.35 lbs.
  • Potash: 5% (0.05) x 5 = 0.25 lbs.

What is the Recommended Amount of Fertilizer for Vegetable Garden?

You are not planning to grow only one vegetable in your garden, definitely. But all the vegetables don’t require the same amount of fertilizer. Basically, the root vegetable requires more, and the leafy requires less. Here I provide a chart that shows the requirement of different nutrients for different vegetables. You can bookmark this page to keep the chart. Anyway, according to the above method, measure the area, then measure how much fertilizer you need for your vegetable garden.

VegetableArea Size (sqft)Nitrogen (lbs)Potash (lbs)Potassium (lbs)
Summer Cucurbit1000.090.100.14
Winter Cucurbits1000.110.150.24

Now, all information is in your hand. Measure your garden size and find out how much fertilizer you need to apply.


I tried my best to make you understand the matter in the very simple and easiest way. I have also done it. I hope you understand everything. Nevertheless, if there have anything that seems difficult to understand, just leave your query in the comment box. Before closing the content, I just want to tell you, apply the fertilizer evenly; otherwise, you might not get the expected result. And don’t forget to wash the tool that you used to apply fertilizer.

Happy Gardening.

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