Preparing Your Garden: Our Top 4 Organic Nutrient Amendments
Spring is in the air, and our garden centers in Cave Junction and Murphy are buzzing with excitement for the outdoor gardening season. It’s nice to see familiar faces, and new ones as well!
Lately, a lot of folks have had questions about amending their soil. While we offer a variety of fertilizers, we love this question because we specialize in organic soil and amendments. Our team at The Good Earth Organics Supply enjoys helping our customers make their soil better year after year!
You can’t start amending your garden “too early.” While some organic nutrients (such as nitrogen and magnesium) are water-soluble (and can get washed out of the soil before being planted), other less-soluble compounds benefit from interactions with microbes.
We suggest abundant and diverse amending when choosing nutrients for your garden! We have a long list of nutrients from various sources, and we love them all. Below are the Top 4 Organic Nutrient Amendments we recommend to our customers. Be on the lookout for a follow up blog on additional organic nutrients we advise for gardeners that want to go above and beyond!
Our Top 4 Organic Nutrient Amendments:
This is one of the least expensive and most well-balanced fertilizers out there; that’s why so many gardeners love it! Chicken manure is an excellent source of nitrogen and is great to add to your soil before planting. In addition, it’s a fantastic top-dressing to add to vegetative growth when needed. Chicken manure is a good source of calcium and is microbe-rich.
This fertilizer comes in two ways: a composted manure (3-2-2) and as concentrated pellets (4-3-2). One is not necessarily better than the other. The compost is a “hotter,” quicker release of nitrogen and adds more media to your soil, whereas the pellets are more concentrated, providing a slower release of nutrients.
Apply 20lbs. per yard of the Nutri-Rich pelletized, or 1 bag of chicken manure compost. Re-apply as a top dressing throughout growth when lightening of leaf color is observed.
Fish Bone Meal:
This slow-release nutrient is a great source of phosphorous. We prefer fish bone meal (5-16-0) to cow bone meal (2-14-0) because of its higher nutrient content. It also breaks down quicker and provides a source of nutrients to the plants faster.
Application of fish bone meal can be generous; use a minimum of 2lbs (up to 10lbs) per yard.
A mined mineral also known as potassium-magnesium-sulfate or Langbeinite (0-0-22). It is comprised of 22% potassium, 22% sulfur and 11% magnesium. As a water-soluble source of potassium (with the added benefit of magnesium and sulfur), using this organic fertilizer in your garden is a no-brainer! Other advantages include its neutral ph, lack of chloride, and low salt index.
Apply up to 1-2lbs. per yard. Reapply 1-2 lbs. per plant around the feeder root zone during the plant’s transition into bloom.
(0-3-0) A good source of calcium, and a great source for short and long term phosphorous. It averages 20% phosphorous (3% immediately available) and 20% calcium. Calcium is extremely important to the health of plants in addition to nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium.
Apply 2-4lbs. per yard prior to planting, and use at a rate 2x the amount of K Mag.