Unlike commercial chemical fertilizers, organic fertilizer for gardens is typically made up of single ingredients, and can be matched to your garden’s particular nutritional needs. The various types of organic fertilizer can come from plant, animal or mineral sources, depending on what chemicals your garden requires. In order to qualify as an organic fertilizer, the materials must naturally occur in nature. Fertilizer for organic gardening isn’t the quick and instant fix that chemical fertilizers can be. With organics, you have to let moisture and beneficial organisms break down the content of the fertilizer material in order for the plants to get to the nutrients inside. In general, half of the nutrients in an organic fertilizer ingredient can be used the first year it is applied, and the rest of it is slowly released in the years to come, feeding and conditioning the soil. Different Types of Organic Fertilizer for the Garden What is the best organic fertilizer to use? There are a number of organic fertilizers from which to choose. There may be all-purpose chemical fertilizers, but this doesn’t exist in the organic side of gardening. Different organic fertilizers add different nutrients and ingredients to the soil. The materials you need depend completely on your soil and the plants you are growing in the garden. Plant-based fertilizers Plant-based fertilizers break down quicker than other organics, but they generally offer more in the way of soil conditioning than actual nutrients. These materials, such as alfalfa meal or compost, help to add drainage and moisture retention to poor soils. Other plant-based fertilizers include:
Organic Fertilizer: What’s All the Fuss?
Manure for the garden comes from cow, sheep, poultry and horses. Pretty self-explanatory. Manure is known as a “complete” fertilizer; it has a lot of