Types of Organic Fertilizers

Organic fertilizers are natural products that help improve your soil without the use of commercially purchased chemical fertilizers. Fertilizers help to encourage plant growth. The most common nutrients in organic fertilizers are phosphates, nitrogen, and potassium. Organic fertilizers break down easily into the soil, which helps replace the nutrients in the soil quickly.

Cottonseed Meal

Cottonseed meal is a plant-based, organic fertilizer. It is rich in potassium, nitrogen, potash, and other nutrients. This fertilizer helps prevent waste runoff and is an excellent fertilizer for lawns. Cottonseed meal is prepared from cottonseed that has been hulled and ground. Use of cottonseed will not burn growing plants, so it is safe to use on most vegetation. For best results, apply 1 to 2 lbs. of cottonseed meal to every 100 square feet of soil.

Alfalfa Meal

Alfalfa meal fertilizer is a green manure fertilizer that is often used in place of blood meal. It is high in nitrogen and encourages microbial activity in the soil. Mix 2 to 5 cups of alfalfa meal for every 100 square feed of garden soil. Alfalfa meal is rapid decomposer that allows quick release of the nutrients into the soil. This fertilizer is often used on roses.

Gluten Meal

Gluten meal is a byproduct of corn milling. This fertilizer is powdery and often used as feed for livestock. It is high in nitrogen and works well for lawns. It also acts as a pre-emergent herbicide, which dries out seeds as they begin to grow. Apply 20 to 40 lbs. of corn gluten for every 1,000 square feet of soil. It is spread by hand or with a seeder and looks like pollen once it has been applied. After application the gluten meal is watered, which activates the nutrients into the soil.

Blood Meal

Blood meal fertilizer is a byproduct of slaughterhouse processing. It is high in nitrogen and often used as a liquid fertilizer. Apply 4 oz. of blood meal to every square yard of soil. The nutrients are long lasting and are excellent for growing green vegetables. Blood meal is best when used during the growing season and is a natural deer and rabbit repellent.


Compost uses yard clippings, decomposed plant and animal products, and other organic nutrients to create a rich, black soil. Composting is frequently used by gardeners to recycling usable materials back into the soil. It is relatively easy to create a compost heap but it must be controlled to prevent disease and pests. Apply 6 inches of compost into the soil and turn it with a hoe or rake. This can be done yearly to improve the soil.

Keywords: organic fertilizer, natural fertilizer, soil nutrients

About this Author

Melanie Hammontree is a member of the Society for Professional Journalists and has been writing since 2004. Works include publications with "Hall County Crime Examiner," "Player's Press" and "The Gainesville Times." Hammontree has a Master of Business and is working on a Master of Journalism from the University of Tennessee.