Best Garden Fertilizers

Fertilizers are organic or synthetic substances used to provide plant nutrients which are inadequate in the soil, to enhance growth and fertility. Fertilizers may also be used to boost water retention as well as filter excessive water to enhance soil effectiveness. Generally, fertilizers provide three major macronutrients to plants; phosphorus, potassium, and nitrogen. Other fertilizers may also include secondary nutrients like magnesium, calcium, and sulfur to the soil.

Fertilizers are common commodities used by farmers, gardeners, or families to facilitate the growth of crops or gardens grows.

The manufacturers of fertilizers have developed a wide range of fertilizers to suit all farming scales, from the small garden of plants or flowers to a large plantation with thousands of crops.

How fertilizer is used

Before I cover how to effectively apply fertilizer to your garden, perhaps I should demystify some of the common myths about the fertilizer and plants.

Here are common misconceptions not many people know about fertilizers:

  • Fertilizer is not a plant’s food. There are numerous publications and online forums that define fertilizer as simply plant food, which is wrong. Plants produce their food by the process of photosynthesis. What fertilizers do is provide elements that are deficient in the soil, such as potassium and nitrogen.
  • More is never better. Don’t apply too much fertilizer hoping that it will lead to high yields. Plants will absorb the exact amount of nutrients needed and the rest will go to waste or abnormal growth.
  • Not all plants need fertilizer. Remember, the fertilizer is meant to supply the elements that lack in the soil, but if the soil of your garden has these elements, then there is no point of applying fertilizers.
  • Slow is better. Fertilizer that releases granular slowly allows the nutrients to be absorbed in a controlled and safe manner.

There are two major categories of fertilizers, liquid and granular fertilizers.

How to apply granular fertilizer

Granular fertilizers can be applied by simply broadcasting them with a spreader or your hands (some fertilizers have burning sensations) onto the surface of your garden or lawn. Consider adding some to the planting holes or rows before sowing your seeds. Spread the fertilizers evenly on the surface of the garden to about 4 to 6 inches. Use your watering can sprinkle water after applying the fertilizer to speed leaching down the soil and the roots of the plants.

In a growing garden, apply a small amount to supplement the nutrients already in the soil. Add thin layers of fertilizers in rows of crops or the drip lines of shrubs or trees. You fertilizer package should have directions on the label, so make sure you go through it.

How to apply liquid fertilizer

Liquid fertilizers are absorbed quickly and easily by plants. Depending on the directions on the label of the fertilizer, apply the fertilizer on the surface of the soil, and not on top of plants. Liquid fertilizers may require you to dilute with water before applying.

Most liquid fertilizers are applied biweekly and contain a high amount of nitrogen which enhances rapid foliage growth.

There are also other types of organic foliar sprays that are applied to the plant vegetative areas to promote prolific blossoming.

When applying liquid fertilizer, you should be careful not to contaminate your fertilizer with herbicides. It is a common mistake among gardeners who don’t have enough equipment. 

When to apply fertilizer to your garden

Crops benefit significantly with the early-start fertilizing schedule. Some plants need just light application while others require more and regular applications.

Use the directions on the product package and follow the instructions on the interval of applications.

For granular fertilizer, it is highly recommended to apply before the rain so that it can dissolve into the soil faster. On the other hand, liquid fertilizers are best if applied during dry months either early in the morning or early evening.

“For granular fertilizer, it is highly recommended to apply before the rain so that it can dissolve into the soil faster. On the other hand, liquid fertilizers are best if applied during dry months either early in the morning or early evening”

Let’s look at the best garden fertilizers in the market today.

 

Miracle-Gro All Purpose Plant Food (Best overall Fertilizer)

Our top pick goes to this multi-purpose fertilizer that quickly feeds your garden crops and makes them grow to their maximum potential. The fertilizer guarantees maximum growth in just 1 to 2 weeks after applying to your plants. It is called all-purpose because it is suitable for all plants in your garden, be it flowers, shrubs, trees, vegetables, bonsai, or any other houseplants.

The fertilizer is easy to apply and also one of the cheapest garden fertilizers in the market. It is a liquid fertilizer; therefore, you will need a watering can or garden feeder hose that comes with the product.

Another good thing about this product is that it does not burn your plants, unlike similar liquid fertilizers.

Pros:

  • Multipurpose
  • Economical
  • Instant results
  • Packed with lots of essential nutrients

Cons:

  • May damage small, delicate plants
Scotts Turf Builder Lawn Food (Best fertilizer for grass)

The best fertilizer to help you maintain your lawn by providing sufficient food to your grass, shrubs, and flowers as well as protecting against future lawn problems, Scotts Turf Builder Lawn Food enhances deep roots for your lawn plants.

It also helps your flowers, shrubs, grass, and other plants on your lawn absorb more water and help with drainage.

With this feed, you don’t have to keep trying new formula because it is recommended for all seasons.

Pros:

  • Protects against future problems
  • Build strong, deep roots
  • Increase water absorption of your lawn
  • Suitable for any grass type.

Cons:

  • Doesn’t work for dormant grass
Miracle-Gro Indoor Plants Food Spikes (Perfect for indoor plants)

If you are looking for the best garden fertilizers for your indoor plants, look no more. Miracle-Gro will provide your indoor plants with enough nutrients to ensure they blossom.

It is also easy to apply. Simply place it into the potting soil and, voila you are done.

A single spike is enough to feed your indoor plant for around two months depending on its size. The nutrients in the products were designed to provide your plants that needed longevity for an aesthetic touch.

Features:

  • Perfect for flowering and foliage indoor plants
  • Feeds for about 2 months
  • Safe for all indoor plants
  • The macronutrients are formulated for houseplants

Cons:

  • Not eligible for international shipping
Jobe’s Fertilizer Spikes (Perfect for trees)

While the trees in your garden don’t require any special treatment in terms of fertilizers, using this product will help them to grow even higher while developing foliage for sheds. The spikes contain macronutrients crafted to work well on a wide range of tree species including elm, maple, dogwood, oak, poplar, and redbud a, among others.

It is easy to apply the spikes. Estimate your drip line based on the branch spread and drive down the spikes into the soil. The spikes can feed your tree for a couple of months.

Pros:

  • Easy to apply
  • Continuous supply of essential nutrients
  • Nourishes at the roots
  • Easy to insert around each drip line

Cons:

  • The package can be destroyed during shipment
Jobe’s Organic Bone Meal Fertilizer (Perfect for Gardens)

This is a perfect fertilizer for the growing garden. It will help your plants to sour with vitality. The formula of concentrated nutrients will provide food for your garden to keep it alive and greenly.

The fertilizer is suitable for veggies, fruits, tubers, bulbs, and flowers. It comprises of nitrogen, phosphate, and calcium (2-14-15), which is enough to enhance steady growth of your plants in the garden. The formula is also precisely measured to prevent burning your plants when it comes in contact.

Pros:

  • Excellent source of calcium and phosphorus
  • Enhances sturdy root development
  • Stimulates healthier fruits and booming

Cons:

  • Not eligible for international shipping
Fox Farm Big Bloom Liquid Concentrate

This is our pick for the best liquid fertilizer. It works wonders for lawns and gardens, with its micro-brewed formula to prevent earthworms and bat guano to enhance the foliage of your plants.

The advantage of liquid fertilizer is that it instantly sips into the soil and get absorbed into the roots of the plants easily.

The product also features some other elements such as rock phosphate and the Norwegian kelp that will boost the strength of your plants and increase yields.

Pros:

  • Incorporates earthworm castings
  • Intensifies flower fragrance
  • Enhances essential oil production
  • Perfect for all fruits and flowering plants.

Cons:

  • No secure shipping


Jobe’s Tomato Fertilizer Spikes

As the name suggests, this gardening fertilizer is best for tomatoes. The spikes will release the feed into the roots of the plants in the right time to ensure your tomato receives a healthy amount of nutrients.

The fertilizer can be applied on potted as well as garden tomatoes.

Using the spikes is also quite easy, but you will need to set a timer so you don’t forget to replenish the plant.

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Pre-measured fertilizer spikes
  • Feeds continuously up to 8 weeks

Cons:

  • Lacks calcium
Osmocote Plus Outdoor and Indoor

This fertilizer contains 11 nutrients and is capable of feeding your plant up to six months. And with a small scooper in the package, you can measure the feed appropriate for each plant. Application of the fertilizer is very simple. Just mix it into the superficial layer of your garden soil and come back after six months to do the same.

Pros:

  • Contains 11 essential nutrients
  • Suitable for indoors, outdoors, and potted plants.
  • Feeds plants up to six months

Cons:

  • May be harmful to the environment
Lilly Miller

Lilly Miller is perfect for large plants in your garden and shrubs. The fertilizer stimulates soil’s microorganisms to facilitate the building of soil content. It is perfect for both indoors and outdoors plants.

Pros:

  • Perfect for vegetative plants
  • Suitable for indoors and outdoors plants

Cons:

  • Smells awful
Schultz

An all-purpose fertilizer for indoor plants and gardens, Schultz is one of the best garden fertilizers in the market today albeit pricey.

Pros:

  • All-purpose fertilizer
  • Contains enough nutrients to feed your plants

Cons:

  • Pricey as compared to other garden fertilizers in this list


Conclusion

 

Right fertilizer will go a long way to make your garden lively and blossom. This list contains some of the best garden fertilizers to make your work easier. You can also read the about best garden tools under budget in this other post.

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