Having a happy and healthy yard and garden sometimes means giving it some extra nutrients when it’s needed. Fertilizer is a great way to do this, and many fertilizers today are made to help specific types of plants and gardens flourish. However, synthetic fertilizers can actually end up doing more harm than good. Thankfully, there are organic fertilizers that can do the job correctly while simultaneously being safe for your soil, pets, plants, and more. In this article we examine the benefits and downsides of going organic with fertilizer We’ll also go through a list of the best organic fertilizer for vegetable gardens, flower gardens, lawns, and more!
What is Organic Fertilizer?
Before we dive into the specifics of organic garden fertilizer, first we’ll take a look at what fertilizer is for.
What Fertilizer Does
Fertilizer is used to introduce certain chemicals and nutrients into the soil that helps specific kinds of plants grow. Whether these chemicals and nutrients are naturally occuring in the fertilizer, or synthetically designed by humans is what makes the difference between organic vs. synthetic fertilizer.
Organic vs Synthetic Fertilizer
How to Choose the Best Organic Fertilizer
When comparing fully the different benefits of organic vs synthetic fertilizer, it’s impossible to say one is fully better than the other for lawns and gardens. However, from an environmental perspective (the EcoKarma way), it’s safe to say that the betterment of your lawn and garden with a natural fertilizer is a better option.
If you go with an organic fertilizer, you still want to make sure that it’s the best for your garden and specific plants that you need it for. In the next few sections we’ll review proper organic fertilizer for vegetable gardens, fruits, roses, lawns, and more!
How to Choose Fertilizer
Go through the following steps before deciding what fertilizer to use.
What Are You Growing?
A grass lawn is going to take a much different kind of organic fertilizer then say a vegetable or rose garden. Different types of plants require different nutrients. In order to determine what fertilizer you want to use, you need to take a look at the specific areas you’re going to use it.
For example, an organic rose fertilizer is going to contain beneficial fungi and bacteria that are specifically proven to help the growth and health of roses. Whereas a good organic fertilizer for vegetable gardens is going to be comprised of fish bone meal or seaweed compost, and other strains of probiotics that will help your garden thrive.
Similar to garden type, you need to determine the type of soil that you’re working with. Depending on how porous, nutrient rich, and how capable of draining your soil is will determine what form of fertilizer you should use. A soil that’s predominantly sand, for example, will drain easily. Therefore, a liquid fertilizer might run through it and you’ll lose more nutrients than you’ll keep.
Along the same lines of determining what is the best organic fertilizer for your garden, is determining when is best to apply the fertilizer. Make sure that you aren’t going to end up wasting fertilizer by applying right before a super rainy day. It’s also worth noting that the kind of fertilizer is also going to determine how much water you need to use after application.
There are a variety of different types of fertilizers, but two basic ones to consider.
Organic Liquid Fertilizer
Organic liquid fertilizer often needs to be applied with a sprayer, or it can also be attached to the end of a hose with a special applicator. It frequently needs to be properly diluted with water. Sometimes this can also vary based on where you are applying it, and what kind of weather you’re applying it in.
Organic Granular Fertilizer or Dry Organic Fertilizer
Organic granular fertilizer is going to be in a solid form that needs to dissolve slowly into the soil. Fertilizer can come in various forms, such as small bead-shaped or salt-like granules, or in biodegradable packets that can be buried in the soil by plants. As the organic granular fertilizer dissolves into the soil, it releases nutrients as almost a time lapse.
10 Best Organic Fertilizer Reviews
You’ve made it to our list of organic fertilizers. We’re going to go over some of the best organic fertilizers on the market. They are organized by type of fertilizer- or what they are best used for.
- Ingredients: Feather Meal, Pasteurized Poultry Manure, Gypsum
- Formulation: 8-0-0
- Size: 30lbs
- Feeds: 5000 sq ft
- Best For: Lawn
Epsoma makes some excellent kid and pet safe lawn fertilizers, that are organic and environmentally friendly. This particular blend is perfect to put on your lawns in spring and early summer to give it the nutrient needs it required. Epsoma is also a pretty affordable organic lawn fertilizer, and you won’t see a huge price difference between this and some name brand synthetic blends.
- Ingredients: Nitrogen, Iron, Human Waste
- Formulation: 6-4-0
- Size: 36lbs
- Feeds: 2500 sq ft
- Best For: Lawns, Shrubs, Trees, Flowers, etc.
Milorganite is another big name in organic granular fertilizers, and this blend is going to be perfect for your whole yard and garden. We especially recommend it for lawns due to the balance of nitrogen and iron rich ingredients. Though the label advertises as being a pet safe fertilizer, make sure that pets and children don’t come in contact with it during application and for at least a few hours after.
- Ingredients: Nitrogen, Phosphorus & Potassium Nutrients, Seaweed, Fish
- Formulation: 16-4-8
- Size: 32oz
- Feeds: 3200 sq ft
- Best For: Lawns, all grass types
If you’re looking for a liquid organic fertilizer for your lawn, look no further. Simple Lawn Solutions has made this easy-apply complete lawn food from all natural and organic ingredients. The bottle attaches to the end of your hose to make it easy to get started and dilute the mixture with ease.
Best Organic Fertilizer for Vegetable Gardens
Another common question that gardeners have is “what fertilizer is good for my vegetable garden?”
In this section we’ll give you our suggestions for the best organic fertilizer for vegetable gardens, fruit gardens, and more!
- Ingredients: organic macro and micro nutrients, trace minerals, humic & fulvic acid
- Formulation: N/A
- Size: 100 capsules
- Feeds: Depending on size of plants (1-8 pods per plant)
- Best For: Vegetables, Tomatoes, Potted Plants, Row Gardens
This is a more innovative and less messy way of fertilizing plants, using capsules, or EarthPods. Each type of EarthPod natural capsule is formulated to be the best for a certain type of plant. Try everything from the Cal+Mag Boost for your vegetable garden, to others for roses or orchids. To use, simply bury the capsules close to the roots of each plant. Though it may take a little more attention to detail, each plant is getting the proper amount of organic fertilizer.
- Ingredients: Mycorrhizal fungi, archaea, biozomes
- Formulation: 2-5-3
- Size: 16lbs (also available in 1.5 and 4 lbs)
- Feeds: 500 sq ft
- Best For: Vegetables and Tomatoes
If you’re into growing tomatoes, potatoes, squash, and more- this is the best organic fertilizer for your vegetable garden. Jobe’s has made a blend of fungi and created a naturally occuring biozome that is perfect for vegetables and their health.
Ingredients: Fish Bone Meal, Feather Meal, Kelp, Alfalfa
Feeds: 60 sq ft
Best For: Tomato, Vegetable, and Herb Gardens
This last option for best organic fertilizer for vegetable gardens comes from Dr. Earth, and brand that truly knows plants. This organic fertilizer formula contains probiotics, a variety of soil microbes, and many other nutrients. You can buy it in bulk to have coverage for your whole vegetable garden throughout the season.
Best Organic Rose Fertilizer
Anyone that has grown or cared for roses knows that they require a specific amount of detail, attention, and care. For this reason, it’s important that you use an organic rose fertilizer to keep the healthy. Try using something that is specifically formulated to help roses grow and flourish.
- Ingredients: Organic Matter from Food Waste
- Formulation: 4-6-3
- Size: 4lbs
- Feeds: N/A
- Best For: Roses, All Annual and Perennial Blooms
This rose and flower food is perfect for roses, and will be gentle on the roots of all annual and perennial blooms. It’s made with the scraps of food waste, with the mission of education about organic gardening and reducing waste. It’s rich in organic matter without the addition of human or animal feces.
- Ingredients: Archaea, Biozomes, other Fungi
- Formulation: 3-5-3
- Size: 14oz
- Feeds: 10 Plants
- Best For: Roses
Put in a spike, or capsule form, Jobe’s Organic Rose Fertilizer is comprised of Jobe’s cusom made biozome from naturally occuring blends of fungi. This particular organic formula is perfect for roses and other flowering shrubs. The application process is made easy for gardeners, because it just requires them to bury one of spike per plant or shrub.
Best Organic Bloom Fertilizer
Here are some more options for organic bloom fertilizer, that is perfect for flowers and keeping the color in your garden fresh and abundant.
- Ingredients: Recycled Grocery Produce, Fish, and Meat
- Formulation: 1-2-1
- Size: 32oz
- Feeds: 1200 Sq Ft
- Best For: Flowers
If you’re looking for an organic liquid fertilizer for your flower garden, Dr. Earth makes a great option for you. It’s pet safe and will boost your blooms to their best potential if used about every 2 weeks. It attaches right to your hose and dilutes automatically.
- Ingredients: Worm castings
- Formulation: 1-0-0
- Size: 30lbs
- Feeds: N/A
- Best For: Flowers, Houseplants, Vegetables, Etc.
Made purely from the castings of worms, the simplicity of this organic bloom fertilizer is what makes it so great. Not just for blooms, this fertilizer can also double as a fertile topsoil or perfect addition to any potting mix that you have for houseplants.