↑ Return to Fertilizing

Outstanding Fertilizers

The best substance for adding fertility to your soil is compost.  Using this rich stuff that you create yourself is free and creating and using this treasure is very satisfying.  Plants love it and your soil food web will love it.

Below are descriptions of fertilizers that are valuable for growing vegetables and other plants.  I use these substances to help me create a beautifully lush deep green thriving vegetable garden.

Liquid Fish Fertilizer is great for a quick shot of nutrients for leafy growth.  Fish fertilizer is high in nitrogen which leaves need.  Fish fertilizer is readily available in local garden stores.  I like to look for brands that are organic and to use ones that claim to have no odor.  There will still be an unpleasant aroma, but it will dissipate more quickly.

For an all purpose fertilizer, I like to use Steve Solomon’s recipe which is detailed on its own page at this website.  If there’s no time to mix it up, I use a purchased all purpose granular.  I like to use Dr. Earth’s.  It is a complete well-balanced all natural fertilizer and is 100 percent natural and organic.  I like that that the product contains ingredients that provide for both quick nutrition and long term release.  Therefore only one application is needed in a season.

Specific ingredients in Dr. Earth’s are listed on their website:  Wild-caught Alaskan Fish Bone Meal, Wild-caught Alaskan Fish Meal, Valley Grown Alfalfa Meal, High Country Feather Meal, Naturally-mined Potassium Sulfate, Aged Bat Guano, Cold Water Kelp Meal, Mined and Micronutrient-dense Colloidal Soft Rock Phosphate, Nutrient-rich Cotton Seed Meal, MicroActive™ Micronutrient-rich Seaweed Extract (synergistically boosted with 11% micronized humic acids for maximum bioavailability.)

Kelp – For several years, I have done seaweed fertilization with the powdered version of a product called Maxicrop.  It is also sold in a liquid form, but mixing the soluble powdered form is much more cost effective.  A 10.7 ounce container will make 65 gallons!  It dissolves very easily in water and my plants enjoy the excellent source of nutrition that seaweed provides.

Maxicrop uses seaweed that is harvested along the Norwegian coastline, an excellent seaweed growing environment. There are thousands of varieties of seaweeds, and very few have value for plant life.  This seaweed from Norway has been thoroughly tested and its value proven. Maxicrop is a non-polluting, renewable resource, and is OMRI listed, meaning that it is approved for use in gardens and farms that are certified organic

Coffee grounds – I throw my own in my compost bin.  Also, I pick up used grounds from Starbucks.  They have a specific program that offers grounds to gardeners as a corporate policy.

Coffee grounds can be tilled into the soil.  Sunset magazine did an analysis of this amendment  and found that the “Use of Starbucks coffee grounds in amending mineral soils up to 35 percent by volume coffee grounds will improve soil structure over the short-term and over the long-term. Use of the coffee grounds at the specified incorporation rates (rototilled into a 6- to 8-inch depth) will substantially improve availabilities of phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and copper and will probably negate the need for chemical sources of these plant essential elements.”