Fertilizers and Soil Amendments – The Organic Way to Feed Your Garden and Build Your Soil

There are a number of natural fertilizers and soil amendments available to either add to your soil before planting, or to feed your fruits and vegetables throughout the growing season. Soil testing before planting will give you the information you need to add the correct soil amendments, and observing your plants while they are growing will help you determine which fertilizers will best serve their needs.

Fertilizers Only

Blood meal – adds nitrogen to your soil.

Bone meal – adds phosphorous and calcium to your soil.

Cottonseed meal – adds potassium, phosphorous, and nitrogen to your soil.

Hydrolyzed fish – adds phosphorous and nitrogen to your soil.

Kelp meal – adds trace elements, potassium, and nitrogen to your soil.

Fertilizer/Soil Amendment Materials

Compost – adds potassium, phosphorous, and nitrogen to your soil; also acts as an all-purpose soil amendment that will add organic matter to correct clay/soil or sand/soil balance.

Manure (chicken, cow, or horse) – adds trace elements, potassium, phosphorous, and nitrogen to your soil; also acts as a soil amendment by adding organic matter and volume.

Greensand – adds trace elements and potassium; also acts as a soil amendment by loosening up compacted, heavy clay and enhancing water-retention.

Leaf mold – adds potassium, phosphorous, and nitrogen to your soil; also acts as a soil amendment by adding organic matter in various stages of decomposition (humus) that enhances water-retention. Don’t send your fall leaves off with the garbage truck!

Rock phosphate – adds trace elements and phosphorous to your soil; also acts as a soil amendment by raising the pH level of acidic soil.

Wood ashes – adds potassium and calcium to your soil; also acts as a soil amendment by raising the pH level of acidic soil. Save your fireplace ashes.

Soil Amendments Only

Gypsum – loosens up compacted, heavy clay, provides sulfur and calcium to your soil, and balances the pH level.

Limestone – provides magnesium and calcium, and raises the pH level of acidic soil.

Peat/Sphagnum Moss – loosens up compacted, heavy clay, enhances water retention by building up organic matter, and lowers the pH level of alkaline soil.

Straw – builds up organic matter and adds potassium, phosphorous, and nitrogen to your soil; best if used first to mulch and then tilled under after it has decayed.

Sulfur – loosens up compacted, heavy clay, enhances water retention, and lowers the pH level of alkaline soil.

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