Types of Organic Fertilizer

Nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium are the major nutrients supplied to plants by fertilizers. Inorganic fertilizers are mostly chemicals that inflict lasting harmful effects on the plant---including the flowers and fruits they produce---the soil and the surrounding environment. However, organic fertilizers that are made up of plant and animal remains provide essential nutrients, do not harm the environment and, more importantly, improve soil quality in a natural way.

Cottonseed Meal

Cottonseed meal is an organic fertilizer obtained from plant matter. It is the remaining cake after cotton seeds are crushed for oil extraction. Cottonseed meal has a nitrogen content of about 7 percent, a potassium content of 2 percent and a phosphorous content of 5 percent. The nutrients are released slowly, supplementing plants' growth. It can be applied liberally, as it will not harm the plants in any way. It is generally used for flowering plants and lawns.

Alfalfa Meal

Alfalfa meal is an organic fertilizer made from a plant called alfalfa, often used as cattle food. This fertilizer is very good at nitrogen fixation. Alfalfa meal contains carbohydrates and proteins and is an effective way to condition the soil. Bacteria present in this fertilizer break down and produce heat that accelerates the decomposition of the minerals present in the soil.

Blood Meal

Blood meal is produced from blood collected from slaughterhouses. The blood is dried and powdered to produce an organic fertilizer. It is very high in nitrogen, helping restore the nitrogen content in soil. Only recommended doses should be used, however. Excess application may damage plants because it increases soil acidity. Blood meal is used for lawns and green vegetables. It is slightly more expensive when compared to other fertilizers but repels animals such as rabbits and deer.

Fish Meal

Fish meal is produced from the leftovers of fish or whole fish. The fish are then dried and powdered. Fish meal is rich in nitrogen, phosphorous and other nutrients. Use it in the early stages of a crop to enhance nutrition for growing plants. It is a good soil conditioner, and its benefits last for six to eight months.

Bat Guano Meal

Bat guano meal is a popular fertilizer high in nitrogen, phosphorous and other nutrients. Unlike other animal fertilizers, bat guano meal is odorless. In addition, it also contains microbes that are very beneficial to the plants and the soil. It is used for flower-bearing and fruit-bearing plants.

Keywords: organic fertilizers type, animal fertilizers, organic fertilizers

About this Author

Based in Northern California, Devin Dupre-Neary has a bachelor's degree in nursing from UC Davis. Rather than move towards a master's or work in a hospital, he chose a different route. In 2009, he wrote professionally, part-time, writing articles on a host of subjects from health issues to gardening.