Many homeowners are concerned with potentially negative consequences resulting from the use of synthetic fertilizers. Organic fertilizer products that contain only all-natural plant and animal byproducts are increasingly available in garden centers and nurseries as an alternative. Whether you want to stimulate lush green growth, boost flower and fruit production or give plants the nutrients they need to ward off pests and disease, there is an organic product suitable for the purpose.
Espoma Lawn Food
Espoma offers exclusively organic fertilizer products, including a line developed specifically for the nutrient needs of your lawn.
Safe and Effective
In spring, nitrogen is in high demand as lawns put on new green growth. With 8 percent nitrogen, Espoma's Spring Lawn Booster is formulated specifically for this purpose. Active ingredients include feather meal, poultry manure and gypsum, a mineral derived calcium. Don't worry about letting your kids and pets play - the poultry manure has been sterilized to prevent contamination by any bacteria or disease.
One online review service ranked Espoma's Organic All Season Lawn Food as one of the top four lawn fertilizers on the market today, noting Espoma as a "famous and trusted company."
If your lawn starts to look shabby in summer, look to Espoma's Summer Revitalizer for renewal. Their Fall Winterizer product helps to prepare the lawn for dormancy as cold weather approaches. The 30-pound bags cover 5,000 square feet and typically cost about $25 to $30 dollars.
Dr. Earth's Vega Fertilizer
Most organic fertilizers contain animal byproducts, making them a little stinky for indoor use. However, Dr. Earth's Vega fertilizer uses only plant and mineral-based ingredients that have very little odor.
Packing in the Extras
Vega also includes ingredients that stimulate beneficial microorganisms in the soil, as well as an aloe-based "sticker" to help the nutrients from leaching through the potting soil when you water. These extras make the difference between a fertilizer that is nothing but nutrients and one that assists in the long-term health of the soil and plants.
This is a new product that hasn't been on the market long enough to have a reputation. However, it's one of the only organic fertilizers without animal products, so there is an excellent chance it will become quite popular. Apply it at six-week intervals to keep your potted plants looking lush and happy. A 4-pound bag retails for around $12.
Fox Farm's Tiger Bloom
Phosphorus is the key nutrient that stimulates abundant flowering and fruiting in plants, and Fox Farm's Tiger Bloom has plenty of it.
Apply as soon as flower buds form on your fruit trees and flowering shrubs. For vegetables, use it on any crop that is harvested as a fruit (rather than the leafy part of the plant) like tomatoes, peppers and zucchini. Tiger Bloom also contains enough nitrogen to maintain vigorous green growth while plants are flowering and fruiting, so there is no need to use other fertilizers at the same time.
As a testament to the popularity and value of Tiger Bloom, every single review for the product on Amazon was positive and averaged five out of five stars.
A quart-size bottle goes for $15 to $20, but a little goes a long way with this highly concentrated plant juice. Dilute the liquid fertilizer at a rate of 2 to 3 teaspoons per gallon of water before using it to drench the soil.
Selecting Organic Fertilizers
In addition to the categories mentioned here, there are specially-formulated organic fertilizers for vegetable starts, plants that require acidic soil conditions (such as blueberries, azaleas, hydrangeas and camellias) and palm trees. The addition of beneficial soil microbes - often denoted with a 'myco' prefix in the product name - are a sign of a high-quality organic product.