Triple 16 Fertilizer Benefits: When and How To Use 16-16-16

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Triple 16 Fertilizer Benefits: When and How To Use 16-16-16
Triple 16 Fertilizer

Whenever you want anything to grow, you inevitably are going to need some sort of fertilizer to help provide your plants with the needed nutrients for that growth. We always recommend going with organic fertilizers if you can, even though the results may be slower. However, we will discuss some of the chemical options and what benefits and precautions you will need to know when using them. In this article we will look at the fertilizer triple 16 or 16-16-16 benefits and uses.

Triple 16 fertilizer benefits include improved growth and health of all parts of plants. It can be used for the health and growth of vegetables, fruit trees, flowering plants and lawns, by providing a balanced blend of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium and is best suited for soils where all three nutrients are present in equal amounts. The fast release triple 16 fertilizer will start working within 10 – 24 hours of application.

If you use the slow-release triple 16 fertilizer, results will be seen in 7 to 10 days. It may be slower; however, this type of fertilizer is better suited to cultivation where you need the nutrients to be available to the plant over longer periods of time.

So, the first question we want to delve further into, so you can be sure you are using the right fertilizer for the right outcome, is: What is 16-16-16 fertilizer?

What is 16-16-16 Fertilizer? Slow and Fast Release Explained.

You guessed it, triple 16 has to do with the ratios of 3 essential chemical elements for plant growth and health.

Triple 16 fertilizer is comprised of 16% nitrogen, 16% phosphorous and 16% potassium with the remaining 52% comprising filler material such as course sand, which has no nutrient value but, is present to dilute the nutrients so that the concentrations will not burn or damage the plants delicate stems and roots.

The most common fillers are sand and granular limestone however, sawdust, dirt, peat moss, ground corn cobs also serve as fillers.[1]

Because triple 16 would have twice as much active nutrients as triple 8, then only half as much would be needed on your soil. Triple 16 fertilizer or 16-16-16 would only be used on soil where concentrations of the 3 nutrients, NPK, are already roughly in equal proportions. To find out your soils existing ratios of nitrogen, phosporous and potassium you can use a soil nutrient kit ($8 to $25) available at nurseries or online. Check out our recommendations here: Soil Nutrient Kits (Amazon Affiliate Link)

Triple 16 fertilizer can be purchased in both the fast and slow-release options. So, what’s the difference?

Fast release 16-16-16 fertilizer: All of the nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium are available immediately within the soil. It dissolves in water and there is no active or inactive coating on the fertilizer. Plants can begin to use the nutrients with 10 to 24 hours with visible results being seen within a couple of days. Quick release fertilizer is good to use when you have just planted a lawn and want it to green up fast and push top growth to prevent weeds from growing.

Slow release 16-16-16 fertilizer: The fertilizer is coated with an active or inactive coating, usually sulphur, that will gradually breakdown, releasing the nutrients into the soil slowly. This slow release will consequently make the nutrients available to the plant gradually and over a longer period of time. Results can typically be seen within 7 to 10 days of application. Use slow release fertilizer for newly planted trees and shrubs that need nutrients over an extended period of time as they grow and develop.[2]

What Is Triple 16 Fertilizer Used For?

Triple 16 fertilizer can be used for trees, shrubs, lawns, flower beds, plants and vegetable gardens. It can be used anywhere you need to supply a good balance of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium for the growth and health of your plants.

When Should I Apply Triple 16 Fertilizer?

A slow-release 16-16-16 fertilizer can be applied to the soil before sowing seeds or adding plants. Early morning or late evening is the best time of day to apply triple 16 fertilizer. Reapplication of slow-release 16-16-16 should be every 1 to 2 months during the growing season.

How Do You Apply Triple 16 Fertilizer?

A fast or slow-release triple 16 fertilizer can be applied by tossing out by hand, making sure you are wearing gloves. You can also use a fertilizer spreader for larger areas. Work the fertilizer into the soil and water to ensure the uptake of the nutrients and help the granules to dissolve.

How Much Triple 16 Fertilizer Per Acre?

Triple 16 fertilizer can be applied at 283 lbs (128.4 kgs) per Acre which is equivalent to 6.5 lbs (2.95 kgs) per 1000 square meters. After applying the 16-16-16 fertilizer, water it in lightly before planting.

Is Triple 16 A Good Lawn Fertilizer?

Triple 16 is a good lawn fertilizer with a fast-acting form of nitrogen to ensure grass develops a rich green color. It can also be used for flower beds, shrubs, trees and vegetable gardens.

When Should I Put 16-16-16 On My Lawn?

New lawn should be fertilized with 16-16-16 fertilizer four weeks after sowing and while the lawn is dry. Follow with a thorough watering to ensure the new grass is not burned. For established lawn, it can be applied 3 to 4 times per year at the beginning of every season and before rainfall. It should be watered into the ground as it is not a slow-release fertilizer.

What Is Triple 15 Fertilizer Used For?

Triple 15 fertilizer, also known as 15-15-15 fertilizer, is used for roses and lawn care. It can also be used for trees, shrubs and plants. It contains 15% nitrogen for encouraging the production of chlorophyll for healthy plant leaves, 15% phosphorous for building strong roots and stems, and 15% potassium for resistance to disease and overall plant health.

The remaining 55% composition are fillers, usually in the form of sand.

Triple 15 is very similar to triple 16 fertilizer at only 1% less concentration, so you might need a little more triple 15 than what you would normally use with triple 16 fertilizer.

Is Triple 15 A Good Fertilizer?

Triple 15 is a good fertilizer for roses and lawn care. Since it is a chemical fertilizer, results can be seen very quickly, often with a couple of days. It is best to apply the fertilizer when the weather is dry and to then water it thoroughly into the ground to prevent the plant roots being burnt.

It depends largely on what stage your plants are at and what you are wanting to achieve as to whether you use a chemical fertilizer or a slow-release organic fertilizer.


You can find fertilizer in triple 1 upto triple 20 fertilizer depending on your plants needs. Triple 1 or 1-1-1 is not so commonly used, generally triple 3 or 3-3-3 fertilizer upwards are more common.

You will also find many different ratios of Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium fertilizer such as 6-24-24 fertilizer depending on your soil health and plants needs.

Juan & Raquel

We are Juan & Raquel, the guys behind Fruit Information. We've been interested in fruit over the last few decades and have been busy with improving our knowledge of the different varieties. I, Juan, have been almost a fruitarian for over a decade and almost solely living on fruits as my main dietary intake. My wife Raquel has worked on a fruit farm and also worked in a nursery and seedlings shop. She is a very experienced and knowledgeable farmer. We have recently undertaken a new Dragon Fruit farm with friends.

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