Fertilizers Used In Organic Gardening

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Fermented alfalfa seeds are ground up to help them to break down at a faster rate. Alfalfa is most commonly used as feed for livestock. It has an NPK Ratio: 3-2-2. It is a soil conditioner and should be tilled into the soil during the spring before planting. This particular fertilizer is alkaline and low in nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium.

Bat Guano

The NPK Ratio is 8-6-1. Bat Guano is acquired from fruit and insect feeding varieties of bats. It can be used before planting or during the growing season. It is used as a soil conditioner, to enrich the soil, and to improve drainage and texture. Bat guano is high in nitrogen which aids in growth rate and the development of strong roots and flowers. It is most effective when used in compost tea.

Blood Meal

The NPK Ratio is 12-1.5-.5. Blood meal is very acidic. It is high in nitrogen and aids in the growth of lush green plants. Plants that prefer a low ph will benefit from the use of blood meal. Blood meal should be used with caution as it can prevent fruiting and flowering and can burn or even kill plants if used in too high of concentration. The most common way of using blood meal is by pouring it over the roots and covering it with mulch.

Bone Meal

The NPK Ratio is 4-20-0. Bone meal is used to add phosphorous to soil and is often used in nitrogen heavy soils. If plants are being burnt or are dying, bone meal may help. Phosphorous aids in the production of flowers. It is made primarily from beef bones. Bone meal works for up to four months to add phosphorous to the soil.

Chicken Manure

The NPK Ratio is 3.5-1.5-1.5. Chicken manure is a popular organic fertilizer used in vegetable gardening. It is high in nitrogen but also contains potassium and phosphorous. Raw chicken manure should not be used as it can cause plants to be burnt or to die. It is important for it to be properly composted. The manure should be evenly spread over the garden and tilled into the soil.

Cottonseed Meal

The NPK Ratio is 6-3-1. Cottonseed meal is a byproduct from cotton manufacturing. It is a slow acting fertilizer and is best used in the fall before planting cover crops. Nitrogen is the primary nutrient, but it also supplies phosphorous and potassium. This particular fertilizer promotes strong growth of vegetables. It is particularly useful in aerating dense soil and retaining moisture in sandy soil.

Cow Manure

The NPK Ratio is 2.5-1-1.5. Cow manure is the most commonly used fertilizer. It is primarily made up of digested grain and grass. Caution should be used, as the high amount of ammonia can burn plants and can contain dangerous pathogens. Because of this, the manure should be composted prior to use. Compacted soils will benefit from its usage as it improves aeration. It can be tilled into the soil or used to top dress plants. 


The NPK Ratio is 1-1-.5. Greensand is made up of ground up green limestone. It is used primarily to improve the mineral content of soil. Clay soils benefit from the use of greensand as they help to increase drainage and allows more oxygen into the soil.

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