man putting organic soil to his small pot
ECO gardener

The soil is depleted of nutrients after the growing season. That's why it's important to amend the soil to bring nutrients back to it. There are many soil amendment products that you can use, but it's best to go the all-natural route. In this guide, we're outlining all the information you need to know about organic fertilizer.

What is Organic Soil Fertilizer?

a palm with organic soil

Organic fertilizer is a soil amendment material made from natural sources, mainly living organisms or decayed organic matter. This nutrient-rich soil amendment material is derived from:

  • Animal manure
  • Bone meal
  • Seaweed or kelp extract
  • Fishmeal
  • Alfalfa meal

Synthetic fertilizers are also used to amend the soil, but these products are made from chemicals, and traces of these chemicals may pollute waterways. That's why going natural with soil amendment products is the safest choice. This ensures that chemicals from synthetic fertilizers won't end up on your plate.

What are the Benefits of Organic Fertilizer?

vegetable garden greenhouse

Using organic fertilizer has many benefits. Here are just some of the many reasons why we recommend using organic fertilizer to amend the soil:

Packed with nutrients: Organic fertilizers made from seaweed, animal manure, or compost are loaded with essential nutrients for better plant health. These nutrients are released into the soil and absorbed by plants. Nutrients found in organic fertilizers include:

  • Nitrogen
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Calcium

Organic fertilizers derived from seaweed or kelp are rich in nutrients like humic acid, cytokinin, oligomeric alginate potassium, betaine, mannitol, polysaccharide, iodine, microelement, and alginic polyphenol. Humic acid fertilizers provide a stable food source for plants.

Eco-friendly and sustainable: Organic fertilizers are made from natural sources and do not contain chemicals that may harm health or pollute the soil and waterways. You can use organic fertilizers often, and they won't create pollution. It won't deplete natural resources because the materials are natural and readily available. Because organic fertilizer is eco-friendly, it is perfectly safe for humans, pets, and wildlife.

Promotes better soil health: Organic fertilizer supports plant growth, improves soil fertility, and supports microbial activity. The nutrients in organic fertilizer do more than feed the plants; they feed the beneficial microorganisms that promote better garden health.

Affordable: Organic fertilizer may seem expensive but it provides longer-lasting benefits than synthetic fertilizers. This contributes to the overall cost of using organic fertilizer. Because natural fertilizers improve soil fertility and increase yields over time, it's the more affordable option compared to synthetic fertilizers.

What are 7 Examples of Organic Fertilizers

Organic fertilizers can come from animal and plant-based sources. Below are the most common sources of organic fertilizers:

Compost fruits and leaves

Compost: This organic fertilizer is made from decaying organic matter from kitchen scraps, yard wastes, and animal manure. Compost is packed with nutrients that support better plant growth and improve soil structure and fertility while promoting healthy microbial activity.

Seaweed/Kelp Extract: Seaweed or kelp extract increases germination rates, improves plant vigor, and supports healthy root growth. This type of organic fertilizer is rich in humic acids that accelerate plant growth. It's also an excellent source of potassium and nitrogen.

Bone Meal: This organic fertilizer is made from pulverized animal bones, typically cattle bones. This fertilizer adds phosphorus and calcium to the soil to improve root growth and boost flower and fruit production in plants.

Fish meal: This type of organic fertilizer is derived from the byproducts of fish processing. Lean fish species like herring, cod, sprat, and anchovy are used to make fishmeal. Fish meal is packed with calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, and B vitamins, which promote healthy plant growth.

Animal manure: Cow, horse, or chicken dung is collected, aged, and processed as organic fertilizer. These raw materials are loaded with nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, undigested feedstuffs, and living and dead microbes, which boost soil fertility and improve soil structure. The nutrients in animal manure are released slowly into the soil for plants to absorb.

Blood Meal: Blood meal is derived from the blood of animals, which is harvested in slaughterhouses, dried, and applied as a liquid. This organic fertilizer is packed with nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. It promotes vegetable growth and promotes healthy foliage in plants.

Humic Acid: Humic acid is derived from decayed organic matter and has been used in agriculture for decades. It improves plant health, boosts soil fertility, and supports plant root development. It also enhances nutrient uptake for a higher yield.

How do you Fertilize Soil Naturally?

You can boost soil fertility, improve water retention, and improve structure through:

  • Composting
  • Mulching
  • Cover cropping
  • Crop rotation
  • Soil amendment

Composting: Mixing food scraps, yard wastes, and animal manure in a compost bin creates a nutrient-rich natural fertilizer to add to garden beds, plotting holes to ensure healthy plant growth.

mulch in palm

Mulching: Spreading a thin layer of organic matter, such as leaves, straws, and grass clippings over the soil surface helps bring nutrients back into the soil. Mulching also suppresses weed growth and prevents moisture evaporation and soil compaction.

Cover cropping: Cover crops are close-growing plants grown alongside crops to protect the soil from intense heat, improve soil health, slow down soil erosion, and smother weeds. Cover plants can be grown in garden beds and turned into natural fertilizer once they die.

Crop Rotation: This is the practice of planting different plants in rotation to prevent the depletion of soil nutrients while also eliminating pests. For example, planting legumes in one season boosts the soil's nitrogen content. Following up with heavy feeders like tomatoes and squash the next season to take advantage of the nutrient boost from earlier crops.

Soil amendment: The soil loses essential nutrients at the end of the growing season. Amending the soil brings nutrients back into the soil. To improve soil fertility, you can use synthetic or natural fertilizers like humic acid, compost, or aged manure. These natural fertilizers are mixed into the soil.

What is the Best Source of Organic Fertilizer?

The best sources of organic fertilizers are animal manure, compost, and plant-based byproducts like humic acid and seaweed extract. These natural fertilizers bring nutrients back into the soil without using chemicals. They're also eco-friendly, sustainable, and affordable.

Organic fertilizers also promote healthy microbial activity, which is crucial to healthy plant growth. That said, it's best to consult with a local gardening expert to determine the best fertilization plan for your garden.

ECOgardener's Natural Fertilizers: Humic Acid and Seaweed Extract

Amend the soil with natural fertilizer to ensure better plant health and improve soil fertility. The ECOgardener's latest line of natural fertilizers is 100% sustainable, responsibly processed, and safe for all soils.

Marine plants are rich in auxins, gibberellins, and cytokinins that accelerate plant growth and support healthy root development. Humic acid is rich in nutrients like potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorus, promoting better plant and soil health. If you want to try organic farming, amend your garden soil with ECOgardener natural soil conditioners today!

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