Gardening With Organic Fertilizer

Use organic fertilizer and compost to improve your soil so it becomes rich and fertile. The basis of organic gardening is to feed the soil rather than the plants growing in it. Organically-fed soil becomes airy and moist, full of nutrients and soil organisms, which in turn means healthy plant root growth.

This is quite different from gardening with chemicals and artificial fertilizers, which simply feed the plants. The soil is merely the vehicle that holds the roots, and true organic matter is not replaced.

The result of using chemical fertilizer, rather than organic fertilizer and compost, is soil that becomes an inert habitat, and the lost nutrients must be chemically replaced every year.

Organic Fertilizer – The Basics

Three compounds are needed to promote healthy soil: Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potash. Also key are the “trace elements” which are needed in very small quantities but vital to plant growth.

Organic garden fertilizers are made from a variety of natural materials, and can be purchased from organic gardening and traditional gardening stores alike. The most common natural fertilizers are listed below.

Fertilizer Type % Nitrogen/ Phosphorus/ Potassium/


Blood, Fish and Bone Meal 4 / 8 / 0.5 A general compound fertilizer.
Blood Meal 12 / 0 / 0 A very fast-acting nitrogen fertilizer.
Bone Meal 6 / 12 / 0 A slow-acting organic fertilizer that releases phosphorus gradually; often used for activating root growth. Great for bulbs and alkaline-loving plants.
Seaweed Extracts 9 / 2 / 7 A good source of trace elements; they also contain growth hormones and are a valuable means of correcting deficiencies quickly. Excellent for lawn care.
Hoof and Horn 13 / 2 / 0 One of the best sources of slow-release nitrogen.
Fish Meal 9 / 2.5 / 0 A useful organic fertilizer that contains nitrogen and phosphate.
Rock Potash 0 / 0 / 10.5 Invaluable source of potassium – the element missing from many organic fertilizers.
Wood Ashes Varies A good source of potassium and a small amount of phosphate; Nutrient content varies according to material burned. Put twigs and prunings, which contain useful amounts of minerals, through a shredder and use the chippings as a mulch. Or put the ashes on the compost heap.
Dried Animal Manures 1 / 1 / 1.5 These contain only small amounts of the major nutrients but are rich in valuable trace elements. The nutrient content will vary depending on the animal source. Manures are very beneficial to overall soil structure.

Plan Ahead With
Organic Compost and Fertilizers

Organic fertilizer is the heart of organic gardening. Use organic compost and fertilizer together. Remember that the organic materials in natural fertilizer and compost work slowly. They need warm soil to help release their nutrients.

With compost, clumps of organic materials that have not completely decomposed can hamper the seeding process and possibly result in a lack of nutrients. Simply mix your organic compost into the soil a few weeks ahead of planting time.


Back to Top

Built by Champion Promotions Powered by SiteSell
Copyright © by Robert Mosse, All rights reserved.