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10 Best Organic Fertilizers For Your Vegetable Garden – The best organic fertilizers to use in your backyard vegetable garden to grow healthy, thriving plants!
We all want to grow a beautiful thriving garden. But it can get confusing when it comes to fertilizing our plants. But it shouldn’t be! By using high-quality organic fertilizers in your vegetable garden you are feeding your plants and improving your soil at the same time.
10 Best Fertilizers For Your Organic Vegetable Garden
1. Liquid Seaweed
Liquid seaweed is one of the best organic fertilizers you can use in your vegetable garden.
Most seaweed-based fertilizers are made from kelp. It contains over 50 nutrients and amino acids.
Liquid seaweed can even be used as a seed inoculate to increase germination.
I’ve found that using liquid seaweed really helps plants thrive during stressful growing conditions.
2. Fish Emulsion
Fish emulsion is one of my favourite organic fertilizers to use in my garden!
We use it on everything from seedlings to mature plants to keep them growing well through the summer.
One of my favourite ways to use fish emulsion fertilizer is to fill the planting hole with it when transplanting seedlings into the garden. I never have any wilting or stressed seedlings since I started doing that.
3. Bone Meal
Bone meal is a great source of phosphorus that will help your plants grow a healthy root system.
The better the root system your plants have, the better they will grow. After all the top growth is fed by the roots!
Bone meal works excellent when used with blood meal too.
4. Blood Meal
Adding blood meal to your garden is a great way to provide nitrogen to your vegetable plants.
You can mix it with your compost when you top dress the garden in the spring and add more to the garden each month through the growing season.
Are you growing vegetables in containers? Simply mix the blood meal with your potting soil before filling up the container. It will give them a great nitrogen boost.
5. Worm Castings
Earthworm castings are one of the best organic fertilizers you can use in your garden.
Not only do they feed your plants castings also improve your soil structure. If you have very sandy or clay soil you need to try this!
Simply spread 1/2 an inch to 1 inch of worm castings over top of your garden in the spring. If you’re using the no-dig method like we do then you’re done! Otherwise just till the worm castings into your soil and you are ready to plant.
Later in the growing season, you can side dress your plants with extra worm castings.
6. Cottonseed Meal
Cottonseed meal is an awesome fertilizer to replace minerals in your soil and lower the ph too.
It’s high in nitrogen and provides a good amount of potassium too.
Cottonseed meal also works as a soil amendment helping to loosen hard packed clay soils and provide some structure to sandy soils helping it to hold water.
Since cottonseed meal is a slow release fertilizer it is best used in the garden and not on fast-growing seedlings before planting.
You can also add it as a nitrogen source to your compost pile to help it heat up and break down faster!
7. Feather Meal
Feather meal is made from dried and ground up poultry feathers.
It’s an excellent source of slow release nitrogen for your vegetable garden. It’s especially helpful for plants like corn and tomatoes that need high amounts of nitrogen over a long growing season.
Feather meal can be mixed tilled into your soil, or side dressed throughout the growing season.
You can also add feather meal to your compost pile as a nitrogen source to help it heat up fast.
8. Rock Phosphate
One of the biggest problem with most garden soils today is the lack of minerals.
This is where adding rock phosphate often called rock dust to your soil comes in.
Now we are very lucky. Our land has a lot of bedrock and smaller chunks of bedrock throughout. While we sure didn’t fell luck when we used to till our gardens, the minerals leaching out of the rocks over many years gives our vegetables a sweet taste. That we haven’t had anywhere else.
But you can do this in your garden too!
Adding rock phosphate to your garden will help improve root growth and flowers, increase yields and your food will have a richer taste.
9. Bat Guano
Bat guano might sound like an odd fertilizer but it’s actually been used for a very long time.
Bat guano has very little odor, is fast acting and can be added to your garden at any time.
Bat dung can be used to improve your soil texture and drainage too!
Since it contains 10 percent nitrogen, 2 percent phosphorus, and 1 percent potassium it’s a great all-around organic fertilizer for your garden.
10. Mushroom Compost
You might think that mushroom compost is composted mushrooms but it’s not. Nope, they just like to confuse us, don’t they?
Mushroom compost is actually the material that mushrooms are grown in that is composted when the mushrooms are finished growing.
The compost to grow mushrooms in is made by mushroom growers using hay, straw, corn cobs, horse, and chicken manure. Sometimes it also contains gypsum. After being used to grow mushrooms the spent compost is sold by the bag or in bulk.
Mushroom compost makes a great soil amendment and slow release fertilizer. It helps to build the organic matter in your soil and hold water so you don’t need to water your garden as often.
The only downside is that it is high in salt so be careful not to over apply it.
There are many different organic fertilizers that you can use! Remember that you don’t have to use them all. Just pick the ones that are easy to use and match what you’re trying to help your garden with.
What are your favourite organic fertilizers that you use in your garden?
Kim Mills is a homeschooling mom of 6 and lives on an urban homestead in Ontario, Canada. Blogging at Homestead Acres she enjoys sharing tips to help you save money, grow and preserve your own food.