Best Fertilizers

I have spent way too much time trying out various fertilizers over the past few years. My own homemade compost is still my favourite plant food, but I do like to use organic fertilizers now and then.

Here are the plant fertilizers I recommend:

All-Purpose Granular Fertilizer

A good all-purpose granular fertilizer goes a long way. I recommend Jobe’s Organics All-Purpose Granular Plant Food (USA) and Pro-Mix All-Purpose Organic Fertilizer (Canada). Both are safe for organic gardening and can be used on annual plants, perennial plants, flowering plants, vegetables, tomatoes, herbs, strawberries….you get the idea.

If big name-brand fertilizers are not your cup of tea, there are some wonderful small manufacturers of all-purpose fertilizer. Dr. Earth Organic Premium Tomato, Vegetable, and Herb Fertilizer is an excellent all-round option in the USA (it works on non-edible plants too). There may also be wonderful locally-sourced options in your area that I just don’t know about!

Lawn Fertilizer

Lawns are not the place for all-purpose fertilizer. I recommend using a natural lawn fertilizer that supplies sufficient nitrogen but contains no phosphorus. Both Espoma Lawn Food and Safer Brand Lawn Restore meet these criteria.

Phosphorus (P) is an essential plant nutrient, but it can pollute rivers and lakes. State laws banning P in lawn fertilizer can reduce pollutant loads from urban areas.

Lee, Seungyub, and Laura McCann. “Passage of Phosphorus-free Lawn Fertilizer Laws by U.S. States.” Journal of Natural Resources Policy Research 8, no. 1-2 (2018): 66-88. https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5325/naturesopolirese.8.1-2.0066.

Phosphorus in lawn fertilizer has been identified as a major pollutant and should be avoided unless a soil test determines some sort of phosphorus deficiency. There are even laws against phosphorus lawn fertilizers in some states. Your lawn is much more likely to be asking for nitrogen anyways, as nitrogen is key for leafy green plants.

Indoor Gardens

I recommend this cheery little organic fertilizer shaker from Joyful Dirt for indoor gardens. It’s small and easy to store indoors. Plants respond very well to it! It’s also safe around pets and kids. Joyful Dirt is definitely worth a try, particularly for indoors and balcony gardens.