Organic Fertilizers

See Also:
Organic Fertilizers Table
Soil Health
Adding Soil Amendments
Enhancing Soil Fertility
Nitrogen
Phosphorus
Potassium
pH
Manure Fertilizers
Compost
Fertilizer eStore

The difference between organic gardening and chemical based gardening is philosophy and approach. Organic gardeners treat the soil as a living organism that needs to be cared for. Chemical gardeners view soil as dirt, something for chemical solutions. For organic gardeners a healthy soil is a productive soil.

Organic garden fertilizers should only be used to supplement soil fertility and not as long term sole source fertility program. Its important to supplement organic garden fertilizers with compost, manures and cover crops as your primary source of additional nutrients.

Organic garden fertilizers are non-synthetic based naturally occurring substances used to make soil more fertile. They are derived from animal or vegetable matter. (e.g. compost, manure) Processed organic based fertilizers include:



The following organic garden fertilizers are available commercially.

Organic Fertilizers by Macro Nutrient Composition (percent)

Fertilizer

(Leaves)
Nitrogen (N)
%

(Root/stem growth)
Phosphorus (P)
%

(Overall health)
Potassium
(K)
%

Nutrient
Availability

pH
Low(acid)
High (alkaline)

Alfalfa Meal

4

1

1

Slow

Low

Blood Meal

12

0

0

Slow

Low

Bone Meal

2

15

0

Slow

Low

Cottonseed Meal

7

3

2

Slow

Low

Crushed Granite

0

0

5

Very slow

None

Feather Meal

12

0

0

Slow

Low

Fish Meal

11

6

2

Slow

Low

Granite Meal

0

0

4

Very slow

None

Greensand

0

0

7

Very slow

None

Hoof and Horn Meal

12

2

0

Slow

None

Kelp Meal (Seaweed)

1

0

4

Slow

None

Pelleted Chicken Manure

2-4

1.5

1.5

Slow

Low

Potassium Magnesium Sulfate

0

22

Very slow

High

Processed Liquid Fish Residue

4

2

2

Moderate

Low

Rock Phosphate

0

3

0

Slow

Low

Seabird/Bat guano

9-12

3-8

1-2

Moderate

Low

Soft Phosphate

0

15-30

0

Very slow

High

Soybean Meal

7

2

1

Slow

Low

Wood Ashes

0

2

4-10

Fast

High

Not Just Any Organic Fertilizer

Its important you know the source of your fertilizer. The sources of nutrients above can be just as detrimental as chemical based fertilizers. Just because it's listed as an organic or natural fertilizer doesn't mean that its source didn't have a disease or that pesticides and herbicides were used on the plants source or they're laden with heavy metals. Ensure that the source itself is organically grown.

We're Living in Mad Times

I should let you know that in recent times, many organic gardening organizations are completely getting away from animal based fertilizer, because of diseases such as, "Mad Cow" and other diseases associated with the practice of feeding animals the meat by-products of other animals.

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