How to Choose The Best Garden Fertilizer

Fertilizer is plant food that is concentrated. Although manure and compost has similar nutrients, their concentrations are lower. However, the benefit of using compost or manure is the greater texture they provide to garden soil. Below are some tips for choosing a great garden fertilizer which is both measurable and more accurate with faster acting characteristics.

Manure And Compost

Manure and compost work best with sandy soil. Not only do they enhance retention, but will also distribute nutrients which can be very helpful. Unfortunately, the nutrients and particles will be leached down due to rain, so the effect is rarely permanent. Those who are working with sandy soil must keep it mulched and will need to add extra fertilizer when necessary. However, organic fertilizer is vastly superior to chemical products since man made fertilizer leaches from top soil too quickly.

Liquid Garden Fertilizer

Liquid fertilizer is watered on top of soil around the plants, and is best used in the morning or afternoon for best results. It is recommended to use it monthly since it is a great option for speeding up the growth of specimens which are stunted. However, it is important to pay attention to the pH of your soil, as it can greatly affect the nutrient availability. Nutrients may become locked inside the soil if its pH is too low or high. Once the pH levels are corrected, the nutrients can then be released without adding extra fertilizer.


Gypsum is the best option for clay soil. The reason for this is because it can break down clay into particles which are smaller, which if mixed with compost or manure will prevent the particles from sticking together again. Depending on the area in which you live, phosphates and lime might be needed.

Phosphate Garden Fertilizer

Some soil is naturally low in phosphorous. While this won’t be an issue for native style gardens, since the plants evolved to grow in this type of soil, it will be an issue for exotic species. The best solution is phosphate fertilizer, which will have to be used for a time so that the exotic plant hunger can be satiated.

When Is The Best Time To Fertilize?

The best time to fertilize your garden is at the start of a growth season. Twice per year during spring and fall should suffice, as every garden plant will receive supplementary fertilizer during their development period. If you use organic fertilizer, which most experts recommend, your garden soil will enjoy long term benefits. The activity of earth worms will be increased, which will result in a more vibrant landscape. Every gardener has to watch for nutrient deficiency. For instance, the plant leaves will often showcase specific symptoms which indicate certain elements are missing. Aside from phosphorous, plants require nitrogen, potassium, sulphur, magnesium, calcium and manganese. The benefit of using concentrated fertilizer is that serious nutrient deficiencies can be overcome relatively quickly. A professional horticulturist can help evaluate any plant discoloration to tell you specifically what your plants need.