Finding it hard to keep anything in your garden alive? Many struggle with this which is why fertilizer was invented! It can change your gardening game and yield much better results than just water and sunlight. Some of the best plant fertilizer gives your plants that little boost they need to grow big and strong.
Your thumb is looking a bit green! Don’t panic — it’s actually a good thing. When you garden, you connect with nature, which many studies say is beneficial for your health. For example, a study found that for women, the risk of developing breast cancer was lower if living closer to green spaces. That’s a pretty inspiring reason to pick up your gardening gloves. And to help you get the most out of your efforts, we’ve compiled a list of the best garden fertilizers experts recommend for thriving plants.
While gardening is a popular hobby, it can yield more benefits than just what you grow. A new study revealed that gardening could be the new wonder cure for cancer, mental health and community bonding. Researchers from The University of Colorado Boulder found that gardening leads to munching on more fibrous fruits and vegetables, getting more movement and building relationships with fellow gardeners. The results: lower stress, better immunity and a lower risk of illnesses. Can you dig it?
Stress relief may not be the only mental perk! According to another study by the University of Florida, gardening can also lower anxiety and depression. Even though participants had never gardened before the study, they reported feeling better after spending time with the plants. So, if you’re feeling blue or going through a rough patch, the prescription for a better mood might be as simple as digging in the dirt.
To truly maximize the potential of your garden, it’s important to give your plants a little extra attention with fertilizer. However, there are a lot of options to choose from and they all have different amounts of nutrients in the package. That can make finding the best garden fertilizer feel like a hard job. Read on for our list of fertilizer options that are most recommended by 11 experts.
The List: Best Plant Fertilizers, According to Gardening Experts
This organic fertilizer contains a mix of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, providing a well-rounded nutrient blend for all types of plants. According to Pinch of Seeds, “This fertilizer has the same amount of Nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and Potassium (K) in the package. All-purpose fertilizer helps the plant in overall growth – grow taller in size, develop deeper roots, and encourage to produce flowers and fruits.”
The Spruce says this fertilizer is good for a variety of plants, plus safe for use around kids and pets: “Your plants can have a productive growing season with a 4-4-4 mix of nitrogen for stem and leaf growth, phosphorus for seed or fruit growth, and potassium for drought resistance. The addition of organic matter enriches the soil to promote healthy microbes and improve water use. Safe to use around pets and children, the 6-pound bag of granular fertilizer will cover 1,200 cubic feet in the garden.”
“This organic fertilizer is certified by OMRI and is suitable for vegetable gardening. It also contains Biozome, which is a healthy blend of proprietary microorganism archaea, fungi, and bacteria that can break down materials for rapid results. The beneficial microorganisms in this fertilizer increase the root mass and improve the long-term soil quality. It can help your vegetables resist drought, insects, and diseases. At the same time, it improves overall soil conditions,” Plantophiles claims.
This product is enriched with minerals, proteins, carbohydrates, humic acids and trace elements that promote healthy soil. It tops the list for Garden Gate: “Our first recommendation is a product from Dr. Earth that is extremely useful to vegetable plants. This vegetable fertilizer ensures that your plants receive proper nutrition since the nutrients are available in high concentrations. Eight specific strains of Endo and Ecto Mycorrhizae add to the product’s value. Together, these boost the plant’s capacity to withstand drought and increase the availability of all nutrients in the plant.”
Bob Vila also recommends it, and here’s why: “It’s versatile too. Use Dr. Earth as a starter fertilizer during initial planting and transplanting, and regularly as a top dressing or in compost tea. Dr. Earth fertilizer contains no synthetic chemicals, chicken manure, or toxic ingredients, so it’s safe for pets and people.”
According to The Spruce, “Dr. Earth’s organic fertilizer can help you achieve the results you desire for tomatoes. The 4-6-3 NPK formula includes calcium for proper new growth development and fish-based organic matter. The 4-pound bag will cover up to 60-square-feet (that’s lots of tomatoes!) and is also excellent for berries, leafy greens, and root vegetables.”
Experts think this fertilizer is versatile enough to support a wide variety of species, making it an excellent choice for organic vegetable and fruit gardens. Gardener’s Path explains the optimal conditions for this fertilizer: “Because of its high nitrogen and phosphorus content (6-8-0 NPK), bone meal is great for alliums, such as onions and garlic, which are long-season, heavy feeders. It promotes well-established roots and bulbs and gives the scapes a boost to support photosynthesis. It’s also a good choice for starting fruiting crops such as tomatoes, peppers, and cucurbits as it supports development in the early stages of life.”
“A 6-8-0 ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium helps promote strong roots for new plants in your garden. Any gardener who’s growing organic vegetables and other foods will find value in this three-pound bag of bone meal, as it’s versatile enough to support a wide variety of species. The bag size and organic listing were highlights of this fertilizer in many positive reviews. Customers with small gardens found that the bag offered plenty of fertilizer for their plants,” This Old House writes.
Plantophiles also notes, “It can be used for both container gardening and established vegetable gardens.”
This USDA-certified fertilizer is fast-acting and features a proprietary mix that pours easily and provides slow-release benefits. The Gardening Dad says, “This is a fast-acting, organic fertilizer. It is one of the best granular fertilizers for new and established fruit plants. In addition, it is certified by the USDA. It was also made with a proprietary mix that breaks down material faster. This is one of the best garden fertilizers to improve soil condition and help your plants become disease and drought-resistant. It should be also noted that is it a 3-5-5 fertilizer mix that is made to pour easy.”
“The Fruit and Citrus Fertilizer comes in a granular form and works more quickly than many other fertilizers, while still providing long-term slow-release benefits. It will help your trees bear more fruit and increase the health of the fruit and tree, helping it to resist disease. This product also contains the ‘Biozome’ microorganisms and can be a bit smelly from all those good organic ingredients. That just means it’s working, and the smell won’t last long,” Amaral Farms claims.
As listed on The Spruce, the brand has you covered with other varieties. They have fertilizers for all-purpose, perennial and tomato gardening.
Neptune Harvest Fish & Seaweed Fertilizer is an all-purpose fertilizer that gardeners love for its ease of use. Treehugger describes what makes this product special: “This fertilizer has a NPK ratio of 2-3-1, so it’s a good all-purpose product that many gardeners prefer for its ease of use (you mix it up in a watering can). As you probably guessed, the product smells strongly of fish, but it dissipates within a day — faster than many other organic products. There’s also nothing for pets to dig up and eat, though they still may nose around the application area.”
“Neptune’s Harvest combines both fish and seaweed to give you the best of both products in an easy to use formula. Both fish emulsion and seaweed build the natural sugars in plant leaves, helping them grow stronger even in dry or excessive heat conditions. Flowers, fruit, and foliage are stronger and more productive, with fruit reported to have a longer shelf life. The product is easy to use. Simply dilute in water as the instructions say and use to water plants, or use as a foliar spray,” Morning Chores writes.
By choosing one of these top five best garden fertilizers, you can be confident that you’re helping your plants thrive!
You might also be interested in:
- Pinch of Seeds
- The Spruce
- Garden Gate
- Bob Vila
- Gardener’s Path
- This Old House
- The Gardening Dad
- Amaral Farms
- Morning Chores
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