As I was looking over the label on a bag of fertilizer this morning I was reminded of the time, a few years ago, when a friend of mine and I went to a local K-mart and decided to see what the people in the gardening section knew. We started small—we went over to a bag of fertilizer and my friend asked what the three numbers on the bag meant. Now, as most gardeners know, those numbers indicate the amount of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in the fertilizer. Unfortunately the guy we asked told us that those numbers were actually a computer code…We never did find out exactly what this computer code was for. I have no idea why the guy couldn’t just say “I don’t know”. We had intended to ask more questions, but both of us were too stupefied to continue.
So I have a challenge for all of you this weekend—I’m curious to see who takes it up—go to a box store, or a garden center—your choice—and ask them what the three numbers on the bag of fertilizer are for. You can list responses in the comments section below—or feel free to e-mail me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org if the answers are too embarrassing!