How Much Triple 13 Fertilizer Do I Use Per Acre? (With Tips)

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Hey there, green thumb enthusiasts! So, you’ve just purchased a triple 13 fertilizer, and you’re wondering how much triple 13 fertilizer you should use per acre, huh? Well, you’ve come to the right place!

In summary: For optimal results, apply triple 13 fertilizer at a rate of 250-300 pounds per acre. This ensures adequate nutrients for most crops without over-fertilization, which can be detrimental to plant growth and the environment.

In this blog post, we’ll delve into the nitty-gritty of using triple 13 fertilizers, how much to apply, and when to do it, all while keeping it casual and fun. Let’s get started!

What Exactly Is Triple 13 Fertilizer?

Triple 13 fertilizer is a popular granular or pelletized, complete fertilizer containing 13% nitrogen (N), 13% phosphorus (P), and 13% potassium (K). Plants require these three essential nutrients to grow and produce high yields. The balanced formula of triple 13 fertilizer makes it a versatile choice for a wide range of crops, gardens, and landscapes.

Tip: I’ve written in-depth articles about why plants need nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Check them out!

From my experience, once you begin using a triple 13 fertilizer, your plants will automatically ask you for it regularly.

Factors Affecting the Amount of Fertilizer to Apply

Before diving into the specifics of how much fertilizer to use, it’s important to understand that various factors can affect the ideal application rate. Let’s look at them one by one.

Soil type

Different soil types, such as sandy, clay, or loamy soils, have distinct nutrient retention capabilities. Thus, the optimal fertilizer rate may vary depending on your soil type.

Here’s a table with suggested application rates of triple 13 fertilizer for different soil types. Keep in mind that these are general recommendations and may vary depending on other factors like existing soil fertility, crop type, and growth stage. It’s always best to conduct a soil test and consult with a local agricultural extension agent to determine the most accurate application rate for your specific situation.

Soil TypeApplication Rate (lbs/acre)

These application rates are meant to serve as a starting point. Remember to adjust the rates based on your specific needs and conditions.

Soil fertility

Conducting a soil test helps determine the existing nutrient levels in your soil. This information can guide you in selecting the correct amount of fertilizer to apply.

Crop type and growth stage

Different crops require different nutrient levels, and the required nutrients may change as the plant matures.

Here’s a table with suggested application rates of triple 13 fertilizer for various crop types. Keep in mind that these are general guidelines, and the actual application rate may vary depending on factors such as soil type, existing soil fertility, and the growth stage of the plant. Again, it’s essential to conduct a soil test and consult with a local agricultural extension agent to determine the most accurate application rate for your specific situation.

Crop TypeApplication Rate (lbs/acre)
Leafy Vegetables250-350
Fruit Trees200-300

Taking these factors into account will help you determine the appropriate amount of triple 13 fertilizer to apply to your specific situation.

Application Guidelines

As mentioned earlier, a general rule of thumb is to apply 200-300 pounds of triple 13 fertilizer per acre. However, it’s always best to base your application rates on the results of a soil test.

Here are some general application guidelines to follow:

  • Broadcast application: Spread the fertilizer evenly across the entire field or planting area before planting your crops or plants. This method ensures uniform distribution of nutrients. I’ve also written an article on how to use a seed spreader to apply fertilizer here.
  • Incorporate the fertilizer: Once the fertilizer has been spread, incorporate it into the top 2-4 inches of soil using a tiller or other suitable equipment. This helps to evenly distribute the nutrients and minimize the risk of runoff or leaching. The specific depth may vary based on soil type and crop requirements. For example, in sandy soils, nutrients can leach more easily, so incorporating fertilizer slightly deeper (3-5 inches) might be beneficial. Similarly, crops with deeper root systems may require the fertilizer to be incorporated at greater depths to ensure optimal nutrient availability. Always consider your specific soil conditions and crop requirements when determining the appropriate incorporation depth.
  • Fertilize at the right time: The best time to apply triple 13 fertilizer is in the spring before planting or when soil temperatures reach 55-60°F (13-16°C). This ensures that the nutrients are available to the plants during their active growth phase.


Is triple 13 fertilizer suitable for all plants?

Triple 13 fertilizer is a versatile and balanced fertilizer that can be used for most crops, gardens, and landscapes. However, it’s essential to adjust the application rate based on your specific needs and conduct a soil test before application. I also use it for my lawn, as explained here.

How often should I apply triple 13 fertilizer?

The frequency of triple 13 fertilizer application depends on various factors such as crop type, growth stage, and soil conditions. For most crops and gardens, a single application in the spring before planting or when soil temperatures reach 55-60°F (13-16°C) is sufficient.

However, for some crops or in specific situations, additional applications may be necessary throughout the growing season. Always refer to the recommendations for your specific crop or consult with a local agricultural extension agent for guidance.

Is triple 13 fertilizer safe for the environment?

When applied correctly, triple 13 fertilizer can be environmentally safe. However, over-fertilization can lead to nutrient runoff or leaching, which can harm aquatic life and contribute to water pollution. To minimize the environmental impact, always apply the fertilizer according to soil test recommendations and follow best management practices.


So, there you have it! When it comes to applying triple 13 fertilizer per acre, a general rule of thumb is to use 200-300 pounds, taking into account factors such as soil type, soil fertility, and crop type. Remember to conduct a soil test before applying any fertilizer and follow the recommended guidelines for application to ensure the best results for your crops and to minimize any negative environmental impact. Now that you’re armed with this knowledge, you’re ready to get out there and fertilize like a pro!

Happy fertilizing!

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