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Fertilizer for Flower Gardens

By Bobbie Brewer ; Updated September 21, 2017
Fertilize your flower gardens for a more colorful show.

Deciding what type of fertilizer works best for your flower garden can be an overwhelming task, thanks to the wide range of choices available. It is a good idea to base your decision on your organic preferences and how much money you want to spend. Keep in mind that both organic and non-organic commercial fertilizers will help flowers flourish, while homemade fertilizers are naturally organic with the added bonus of being cost effective. Always follow package instructions.

Commercial Chemical Fertilizers

Commercial fertilizers can be purchased in many garden stores in the form of granules, powders and liquids. Some of these fertilizers can simply be dug into the soil with a garden spade, while others need to be diluted in water and added with a watering container. Be sure to wear a pair of gloves to protect your skin from any chemical residue, and add the fertilizer to your flower beds according to the product's exact instructions.

Commercial Slow-Release Fertilizer

For optimum flower production, choose a slow-release or controlled-release fertilizer for your flower garden. These types of fertilizers have the advantage of lasting longer and not over or under fertilizing the roots of the flower because they release the right amount of fertilizer over a longer period of time. Another advantage is that even though they are not always organic, slow-release and controlled-release types have a smaller impact on the environment than do other commercial fertilizers.

Commercial Organic Fertilizers

Commercially produced organic fertilizers are becoming more popular among gardeners who want to avoid chemicals, but do not want to mess with the sometimes unpleasant and time-consuming methods of making it themselves. Commercial organic fertilizers can be found at many gardening stores and are applied in the same ways as regular commercial varieties. Because these fertilizers are made with natural ingredients, they take longer to break down and work much the same as time-release fertilizers do.

Grass Clippings

Grass clippings are an excellent form of fertilizer for your flower bed due to their high nitrogen content. Besides that, they are very easy to obtain and are naturally organic if you don't use chemical-based fertilizers on your lawn. Just save the grass clippings next time you mow the lawn or ask a neighbor for some of theirs. Spread one half inch of grass clippings over the flower garden and dig down into the soil. To both fertilize and prevent weeds, spread grass clippings over the top of the soil.

Manure Fertilizer

The thought of digging manure-based fertilizer in to your flower bed might cause your nose to wrinkle, but don't worry. There are ways to get a hold of manure fertilizer that won’t stink. Manure is organic, but must be dried and left alone for several months before it is usable. You can learn to make your own by consulting garden manuals, or you can buy it from farmers and garden stores at a reasonable price.


About the Author


Bobbie Brewer has been writing since 1990, with work appearing in print and online. She covers topics related to international travel, outdoor recreation, parenting and gardening. Brewer holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from California State University, Sacramento.