How do you know which ones are the best for your garden and the varieties that you’re growing? They’re not one-size-fits-all, after all.
Most of us spend so much time, money, and effort nurturing our plants, the last thing you’d want to do is choose a product that might not do any good – or worse, that might cause harm or lead to negative results.
This is where we come in. We’re here to help you figure out which to use, and where to get it!
Here’s what’s in store:
Whether you’re a new, intermediate, or seasoned gardener, it’s never too early or too late to learn which nutrients your individual crops need to thrive.
This is a vital step in creating a fertile growing environment, which can also reduce the impact of diseases and pest infestations.
Knowing this, you’ll be well prepared to provide for them and avoid common mistakes, such as overloading nitrogen and ending up with a Jack and the Beanstalk scenario.
It’s unlikely for you to want a huge specimen that barely blooms and produces very little.
All garden crops need macronutrients, in the form of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (NPK), as well as micronutrients like iron and boron. It’s the ratio of each that is important, and the availability of each in the soil.
For example, leafy plants such as lettuce, kale, and spinach need more nitrogen to produce abundant, healthy foliage, which is the part that we consume.
Fruiting crops such as tomatoes and peppers need calcium and phosphorus in larger amounts to support blooming and fruit set.
If you’re unsure of which nutrients common crops need most, or how to make sure they’re not only present in the soil but available for uptake, check out our general guide to plant nutrients and our guide to fertilizing your vegetable garden for complete details.
You’ll find some organic materials that you can make at home recommended in our fertilizing guide that can be used to add available nutrients to your plot. But you might be looking for a packaged option that simplifies the process.
That’s where this roundup comes in. Packaged products can sometimes be more reliable in terms of providing definite ratios of nutrients, whereas compost and other homemade amendments are more difficult to gauge.
They can also be less messy to use, at least in some instances.
Once you’ve tested your soil and established a plan for planting your vegetable garden based on the results you’re hoping to achieve, the next step is adding fertilizer.
These products may require application ahead of time, prior to planting, to prepare the ground and make it a more fertile, hospitable environment.
Or they may be added as amendments throughout the season in response to deficiencies, or to avoid nutrient depletion in heavily planted ground.
Let’s jump right in and discuss which fertilizer options are the best for growing your specific crops.
This list is by no means exhaustive, of course, but it’s an excellent starting point as you research the fertilizers that you will need to address the specific conditions in your space.
No matter what your needs are, organic options are the better choice, and I’m an advocate for using these whenever possible.
Derived from plants and other natural materials that are easier on your soil and the surrounding environment, these can be applied without added dangers, such as ecologically destabilizing chemical waste runoff that may contaminate groundwater and nearby waterways.
They also tend to be more environmentally sustainable in other ways, causing less negative impact on wildlife and pollinator populations. And they don’t usually build up in the soil.
Chemical fertilizers can also do the trick, but they come with added dangers such as potential environmental damage and buildup in the soil. They’re also more likely to cause burning when overapplied.
Still, some types are trusted over others by gardeners who prefer chemical options. We’ve included one of these below, in addition to our top picks for organic gardening.
Let’s take a look at the list!
For more information please see the list of Best food for vegetable garden