Preparing Your Garden
Our Top five Organic Nutrients
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!
A lot of folks have 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 really 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 compounds are less soluble and thus benefit from time spent in the soil, interacting 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 five we recommend to our customers.
This is literally the easiest method in our store for preparing your soil. It’s a broad-spectrum blend with both fast- and slow-release nitrogen, and it lasts in your soil for several weeks before you’ll need to add another dose. Forget all the measuring and mixing–you can save yourself a lot of time and effort by using just this one product. Best of all, you can rest assured that what Refresh 6-6-3 contains is so very similar to the nutrient package you already know and love if you’ve ever used our Gaia’s Gift soil!
Apply 1/2-1 lb per cubic foot of soil for heavy-feeding plants, or 1-2 tablespoons per hole for less-demanding plants.
If you’re more of a DIY gardener, and you have the measuring tools you need to make it doable, read on for our next four recommendations.
Top 4 Organic 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 also 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 20 lbs of Nutri-Rich (which is pelletized) per yard 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 more quickly and provides a source of nutrients to the plants faster.
Application of fish bone meal can be generous; use a minimum of 2 lbs (up to 10 lbs) per yard.
(0-0-22) A mined mineral also known as potassium-magnesium-sulfate or Langbeinite. 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 1-2 lbs 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 2-4 lbs per yard prior to planting, and use at a rate 2x the amount of K Mag.