Organic fertilizers are naturally healthy, hazard-free alternatives to chemical fertilizers. They are available in a variety of combinations, from general gardening purposes to specialty fertilizers for use on lawns, vegetables, flowers and other plants. There are two methods of fertilizing plants to establish a healthy plant and promote growth, and amending the soil to balance levels of minerals and nutrients to enhance plant growth and soil conditions. Feeding plants organic fertilizer is the most simple, as improving soil quality and balancing minerals necessary for optimum growth require soil testing.
Decide How You Want to Fertilize
Decide whether you want organic fertilizer to improve the mineral levels and content of the soil or feed organic fertilizer as plant food to improve growth and health. If you wish to improve the mineral levels, you need to perform a soil test. Electing to feed plants organic fertilizer requires choosing an organic fertilizer based on plant type and your budget.
Consider the time and expense you will be able to contribute to fertilizing efforts. If these two factors are an issue, routine feedings of organic fertilizer may work best for you.
Check to see what the growth requirements are for the plants that you are growing. Whether you fertilize to improve the soil or feed plants, too much of one mineral could create undesirable results.
Fertilizing to Improve Soil Conditions
Test the soil to determine the quality of your soil and what it needs to provide optimum nutrients to growing plants. Test kits are inexpensive and easy to use. Kits can be purchased at most stores that sell gardening supplies. After testing, you will know which nutrients your soil needs and which fertilizer you should purchase.
Look at the three numbers on the fertilizer label. These numbers are universal standard regardless of fertilizer type or manufacturer. They tell the ratio of Nitrogen (N) (increases plant proteins), Phosphorous (P) (required for root system) and Potassium (K) (assists in water absorption) that the fertilizer contains. The soil test results will indicate which compounds your soil needs.
Use the results from the soil test to select an organic fertilizer that will improve the balance and levels of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.
Organic Fertilizer as Plant Food
Choose organic fish meal fertilizer for fast results. Organic fish meal fertilizer is considered a complete plant food that can be used on all types of plants.
Consider organic bat guano fertilizer for plants that require high levels of nitrogen. Bat guano is 100 percent natural, and enhances blooming and large fruit. Organic bat guano is a perfect supplementation for all plants, including lawn grass.
Select organic kelp fertilizer for vegetables, flowers and garden fruits. Organic kelp contains more than 72 vitamins and minerals to enhance plant growth. Kelp releases slowly over time, yet provides nutrients quickly to plants to support plant cell structure from the inside out.
About this Author
Patricia Hill is a freelance writer who contributes to several sites and organizations, including eHow, Associated Content, Break Studios and various private sectors. She also contributes to the online magazine, Orato.com.