How to Organically Fertilize


All types of plants can benefit from organic fertilization. Lawn fertilization works slightly differently from other types, but all plants can be organically fertilized. Store-bought solutions are available, but several types of organic fertilizers are easily made at home using things you may already have around the house. If you compost, you are already organically fertilizing every time you apply your finished compost to your garden. If you do not compost, you can start any time of year provided you consistently tend to your pile.

Organically Fertilizing a Lawn

Step 1

Apply an organic lawn fertilizer to your lawn according to the manufacturer's instructions. Buy a slow-release formula that will feed your grass for a full season. Use a drop or broadcast spreader for best results.

Step 2

Apply a thin layer of compost to the top of your grass once during each growing season. Make small piles around your yard, and then rake the piles out to 3/4 inch to cover the whole lawn. Use a spreader for very large lawns.

Step 3

Mulch grass clippings with your lawn mower. Run them over after clipping the first time if you do not have a mulching mower. Leave them evenly spread out on your lawn; they will naturally decompose and provide slow-release nitrogen to your grass.

Organically Fertilizing Other Plants

Step 1

Dig compost into your garden beds whenever you prepare them, in approximately a 1:1 ratio with the soil. Side- or top-dress with compost whenever you plant new seeds, starts, seedlings or saplings as well. Buy compost at a garden center, or start a compost pile at home.

Step 2

Apply fish emulsion sparingly to plants that are especially nitrogen-hungry. Buy fish emulsion from garden supply stores that carry organic products, or make some at home.

Step 3

Apply seaweed emulsion sparingly to all plants; it contains trace amounts of about 60 elements that are essential to the growth of most plants. Think of it as a plant multivitamin in spray form. Buy seaweed emulsion at garden supply stores that specialize in organic products, or make some at home.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not overfertilize. It can be tempting to think that more is better, but plants can only take in so much nutrition at a time. Excessive amounts of fertilizer can damage plants.

Things You'll Need

  • Fish emulsion
  • Kelp emulsion
  • Grass clippings
  • Compost
  • Rake
  • Organic lawn fertilizer
  • Spreader


  • Organic Gardening: The Dark Side of Lawns
  • Organic Gardening: Fertilizing Your Garden

Who Can Help

  • University of Saskachewan Extension Division: Common Sense Gardening and Compost
Keywords: organic fertilizing tips, organic lawn care, organic plant care

About this Author

Amrita Chuasiriporn is a professional cook, baker, and writer. In addition to cooking and baking for a living, Chuasiriporn has written for several online publications. These include Chef's Blade, CraftyCrafty, and others. Additionally, Chuasiriporn is a regular contributor to online automotive enthusiast publication Chuasiriporn holds an A.A.S. in culinary arts, as well as a B.A. in Spanish language and literature.