Top 3 Best 12-12-12 Fertilizers 2022: Reviews & Buyer Guide

best 12-12-12 fertilizer reviews

All-purpose fertilizer like the 12-12-12 has become a requisite to promote plant growth as it provides needed and balanced primary nutrients for your garden. Normally, fertilizer is a balanced mixture of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Currently, there is a variety of fertilizers available in the market with different formulas, including 5-10-5, 10-20-10, and so on.

However, if you feel lost at sea and want to play safe, I would recommend you to pick triple 12 fertilizer as it works well for all. This article is going to give you a few options for the best 12-12-12 fertilizers.

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Top 3 Best 12-12-12 Fertilizer on the Market 2022

Product ImageProduct NameFeaturesPrice
Howard Johnsons 7137 12-12-12 Fertilizer, 35 lbBest Triple 12 FertilizerSee latest Price
Clean Water Grow 2.5 lb. Slow Release Friendly Fertilizer 12-12-12 NPKBest 12-12-12 Fertilizer for FlowersSee latest Price
SpiritOne 5 lb Granular Fertilizer 12-12-12 Slow ReleaseBest BudgetSee latest Price

In-depth 3 Top rated 12-12-12 Fertilizer Reviews

#1 Howard Johnsons 7137, 35 lb – Best Triple 12 Fertilizer

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This triple 12 fertilizer is most suitable for lawns, flowers, trees and shrubs. It serves as granular all-purpose fertilizer. You can apply them all year long.

The content of this product is about 35 lb and the recommended coverage is 1 lb. per 100 sq. ft. It is made of high-quality ingredients, including 12% total Nitrogen of 4.70% Ammoniacal Nitrogen and 7.30% Urea Nitrogen, 12% Available Phosphate, and 12% Soluble Potash.

Pros: Cons:
  • Good value
  • Great for all seasons applications
  • Might not be the best purchase for fruit trees as they need more nitrogen
  • Take more than 2 weeks to see the results

#2 Clean Water Grow Slow Release, 2.5 lb – Best 12-12-12 Fertilizer for Flowers

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It is good for gardens, especially flowers as you can see from the branding. The content is about 2.5 lb. The coverage should be 1 tbsp. per 10 inch for pots or baskets and per 1 sq. ft.

The best time to apply is mid-spring just before the planting and work into the top few inches of the soil. It stimulates and creates vibrant and hearty blooms. The slow-release formula provides with plants a balanced and steady supply of nutrients. Better nutrient release at roots prevents runoff.

This triple 12 fertilizer can nourish plants for six months at maximum. It is very environmentally friendly as it contains sustainable phosphorus extracted from the water resource recovery process.

Besides the 12-12-12 formula of three main ingredients, it also includes calcium, magnesium and sulfur.

Pros: Cons:
  • Environmentally sustainable
  • High quality
  • Quick results
  • Effective for a long time
  • Mostly suitable for flowers
  • Quite expensive

#3 SpiritOne Slow Release Fertilizer, 5 lb – Best Budget 12-12-12 Fertilizer

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It contains a perfect blend that suits a variety of vegetables, flowers, shrubs and turf. However, it shows the most substantial results when used on flowers and vegetables.

The content is about 5 lbs and this is a granular slow-release fertilizer.

Its longevity is about 12 weeks after application. There is no need to apply them very often, and they produce more even growth.

Furthermore, another good point of this slow-release fertilizer is that burning caused by nitrogen is no longer a worry.

Pros: Cons:
  • Burning is less of a concern
  • No need to apply them often
  • Respiratory ailments – prone as dust may be present
  • Could cause skin and eye irritation

Other All-Purpose Fertilizer for Alternatives

Best 10-10-10 Fertilizer: Pendelton Triple 10 Liquid Fertilizer Seaweed Extract, 1 quart

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This fertilizer is appropriate for gardens, flowers, fruits, vegetables, turf grasses, etc. and it can be used both inside and outside.

The content is 2.84 lbs. Besides the three primary nutrients, this generic liquid fertilizer also contains Amino Acids (5.5%) & Seaweed Extract. It is designed for all stages of plant growth.

Squeeze the bottle to measure and pour the desired dosage. Mix 1-2 oz with a gallon of water and it is recommended to start at a low rate and gradually level up. Water frequently and continue to use it 1 to 2 weeks. Also, please don’t apply the fertilizer directly on the plant as that will burn it.

Best 16-16-16 Fertilizer: Howard Johnsons 7133, 20 lb

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The content is about 20 lbs.

It works best on vegetables, fruit plants, grapevines, strawberries, tomatoes, and even lawn grass. For tomatoes, they grow fast and furious.

The product produces quick results for your garden. It is recommended to apply them before the rain and the planting. However, it is not slow releasing, hence you had better apply once a month to make sure the plants are fully fed.

For your reference, the rate and coverage might depend on the needs of the plants. A suggested safe rate would be .5 lb of nitrogen per 1000 square ft and your lawn would be fine. Half pound divided by the .16 analysis equals 3 lbs of product per 1000 square feet of lawn.

Best 19-19-19 Fertilizer: Grasshopper 19-19-19 Foliar Fertilizer, 25 lb

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It is a water-soluble fertilizer that can mix instantly in water. It is effective immediately without rain. It is blended with Micro-nutrient & Bio-stimulants. The ingredients are safe and high quality.

One feature that I like most is that it can be sprayed even when my livestock is actively grazing. The mixture can be sprayed in any spot, handheld or field sprayer. It is mostly suitable for hay, pasture, lawn, crop yards, garden and food plot use. The plants and grass can start perking up right after the application.

The application rate is 10 – 25 lbs per acre, so 1 bag is enough for 1-2 acres. The dilution rate is 1 lb per 1 gal of water.

Best 20-20-20 Fertilizer: J R Peters Jacks Classic No.4, 4 lb

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The content is 4 lbs. It works well on the lawn, shrubs, and flowering plants.

This fertilizer is blended with an enhanced micronutrient package that supplies optimal nutrition for strong roots and green foliage. It is to be dissolved in water.

Another focus of this product is to ensure the highest safety factor to prevent burning as long as customers apply as instructed. The free measuring spoon comes with the package for easy and precise application.

It is such a slow-release product as it is up to 4 months of vigorous growth. It is quite cost-effective and shows good performance as the plants can respond instantly and there has been almost tremendous growth.

Well, let’s come to the most amazing thing, even if your plants are dying, give this product a try and see how the magic happens.

Considerations when buying a fertilizer 

There is a wide variety of fertilizers for your consideration and in order for you to buy a high-quality product that suits your needs, it is crucial to understand the key features of fertilizers. Things you need to analyze are grass type, weather, what month or what season, and soil conditions. Below are some key tips.

1. Balance

You shouldn’t use fertilizers that contain mostly nitrogen. Those fertilizers that have much nitrogen might turn out just fine at the right time of year, yet can also deprive your grass of the other important nutrients.

You don’t have to buy strictly balanced products, a 12-12-12 fertilizer for example. A 20-10-20 analysis is not a problem and can be used for different purposes. However, a 23-5-12 analysis contains too much nitrogen. Though it provides only some P, at least it is high in K. Hence, it is best for late-season application.

2. Slow-release

There are some good fertilizers that release nitrogen slowly with from 50% to 100% performance. It is very useful in lawn maintenance. Even though it costs you more per bag, it takes you less time and effort because fewer applications are required. If you want to find fertilizers with slower release sources of N, organic products are worth considering.

3. Plant type and time of year

These two stick together and affect each other. The timing of your fertilizer and the content in the bag are equally important. Cool-season grasses should be fertilized during the spring and fall and warm-season grasses should be fertilized in late spring and summer. If you don’t know when to feed your grass, talk to a professional.

Fertilizer application

1. Methods

Grasses can be fed by either direct or indirect methods. No matter what method you employ, make sure the whole root zone area is fed. Because the naturally high oxygen concentrations are near the soil surface, grass’ main feeding roots are usually within the top 10 to 14 inches of soil.

A number of roots of mulched plants are right under the mulch on the soil surface. Apply fertilizer to the surface of the soil or mulch, and the fertilizer will be transferred to the roots thanks to rainfall or irrigation water.

It doesn’t matter what fertilizer or method you use, as soon as you apply fertilizers, water right away to remove fertilizer from the leaves, help nutrients dissolve and penetrate through the mulch and soil to the roots. If there is no rainfall or irrigation, most of the nitrogen will evaporate and can’t help the plants.

Indirect fertilization

When the lawn is fed, bush and grasses are fed indirectly.

Direct fertilization

Broadcasting is a direct method to apply fertilization. It is also a money-saving and efficient method. It is recommended to use a cyclone or drop-type spreader to spread a prescribed amount of fertilizer over the entire root zone area.

direct fertilizer

To provide the best coverage, divide the total amount into halves. Apply one half in this area and apply the rest in a direction perpendicular to the first for excellent coverage. When the fertilizer is all over the top of shrubs and groundcovers, ensure that the leaves are dry and you can use a leaf rake or broom to sweep fertilizer off the leaves and onto the ground.

If the soil in a lawn is compacted, you should aerate the soil first then fertilize it. Irrigating soon afterward will minimize the possibility of injured groundcover or lawn grasses.

You can also apply fertilizer in liquid form to the leaves of plants. This method is used with the purpose of fixing micronutrient deficiencies including iron chlorosis or yellowing in azaleas, etc. Foliar application can be a temporary solution that manages deficiencies in existing leaves and the result will be yielded in the spring yet cannot fix the underlying reason. Without proper measurements, it will lead to an improper soil Ph. Our advice is to take the soil test. If the pH doesn’t improve, you have to continue the foliar application.

A liquid or dissolved dry formulation of fertilizer can be used for irrigation water. In this way, the nutrients will be gathered in the upper soil surface in which most of the absorbing roots are. Try to provide even coverage with an adequate dilution rate. It is highly recommended to set up a backflow preventer on the irrigation system.

There are some application precautions you should keep in mind:

  • Apply to dry turn or foliage and supply much water as soon as possible afterward
  • Plant nutrients might result in staining of some sidewalks or driveways. Sweep walkways before irrigation. Make sure walkways are dry during application.
  • Store them far from pools, ponds, etc to avoid contaminating potable water.

2. When to apply?

The best time to apply fertilizer is when plants are in need of it and ready to absorb nutrients with their roots. It is best to do it also at the same time of active root growth and suitable soil moisture.

The best time to fertilize trees and shrubs is in early spring, and you can apply light fertilizer in early summer if conditions including temperatures and soil moisture are ideal for plant growth.

During summer, if there is no water and severe drought, don’t try to fertilize at all because plants are not able to absorb the nutrients.

For shrubs and trees in lawns, ensure the application is carried out at the appropriate time and rate and the moisture standard is met.


The best 12-12-12 fertilizer in my opinion is the Howard Johnsons 7137 as it brings really good value and is suitable for a variety of purposes. The ideal 12-12-12 formula is a balanced fertilizer, providing equal amounts of N, P and K. I hope this article helps you find the right and high-quality product.

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