pointer80
Senior Member
Posts: 233
Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2013 5:50 pm
Location: northern Michigan

Where can I find a balanced organic fertilizer?

Hello everyone, I am looking for a good mid season balanced organic fertilizer to apply to my garden and being in a smaller town I am not having great luck. We have the usual big box stores but about the only thing I can find there is fish emulsions that is 5-1-1. I thought when plants started bearing fruit you wanted a more balanced fertilizer? Don't get me wrong, most of my plants are looking very good and are starting to fill out with veggies and blooms. I just want to give them any help that I should. Any help would be appreciated.

bri80
Senior Member
Posts: 282
Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2016 10:12 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: Where can I find a balanced organic fertilizer?

You can buy Down to Earth fertilizer mixes on many online stores, including Amazon. I use the Vegan Mix. All the time, on everything, any time of year, at any stage of growth. I add lime and gypsum to it based on my soil's needs, which I recommend.

imafan26
Mod
Posts: 11121
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Where can I find a balanced organic fertilizer?

I would get a soil test. Even if you live in a small town, you may still be able to send your sample in to a land grant college. If you ask for organic amendments they will give you recommedations. In Michigan you may not find a lot of phosphate fertilizers because the soil and water there is already too high and they have passed laws to reduce phosphate fertilizers in turf and garden as well as reducing phosphates in laundry and cleaning products because too much of phosphorus is making its way into the water systems. You don't have to add what you don't need. You may only need nitrogen fertilizer.

http://www.michigan.gov/mdard/0,4610,7- ... --,00.html
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

pointer80
Senior Member
Posts: 233
Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2013 5:50 pm
Location: northern Michigan

Re: Where can I find a balanced organic fertilizer?

Thank you everyone, Yes next year I plan on definitely getting a soil test. This year with new garden and all there was just too much going on. My plants seem to be growing very well with no signs of disease or stunted growth etc. I guess I have new gardener syndrome lol.

imafan26
Mod
Posts: 11121
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Where can I find a balanced organic fertilizer?

If your plants are doing well, then they probably are getting all they need. You will need to add some nitrogen every year, but things like calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and iron can hang around a long time especially if you are using composts.

You should only add what you need and what the plants are removing. Most plants do not use up nutrients evenly. Lettuce and root crops take a lot of phosphorus, cabbages mineralize calcium, and corn needs a lot of nitrogen.
To keep your soil in balance rotate your crops so a high nitrogen feeder like corn is followed by a legume like beans or peas which if inoculated can help add nitrogen for the next crop. When you plant the same thing over and over in the same place, you will eventually deplete nutrients unevenly and unbalance the soil. It may take a season or it may take years depending on what you have to start with. Doing a soil test as a baseline helps you to know what your soil needs and you don't over apply fertilizers and can save some money that way, and repeating the test every three years or so will help you make any adjustments if needed.

I used to just fertilize everything with MG every 2 weeks and everything grew fine. But after 42 days and nights of rain, I couldn't fertilize and guess what, the orchids bloomed better the next year. Of course I paid for not fertilizing a year the next time around. I added lime every couple of years because I was told it was a good thing to do. I added a half a cup to about 50 sq ft for a few years. All of a sudden nothing would grow because the pH became too alkaline for what I was growing.

Now, that I do soil tests, I only add complete fertilizer to potted plants and only nitrogen to the garden. My phosphorus and calcium are very high and high. I did add some lime this year to my pH 6.0 plot, but added peat moss and sulfur to the alkaline plot pH 7.8. I get some phosphorus from the compost which is unavoidable, but I don't need to add phosphorus fertilizers for a couple of more years at least. My soil tests costs about $12 for a basic analysis, but I save more than that in fertilizers I don't need to buy. I use so little nitrogen that I have only used 25% of my sulfate of ammonia bag and it is already 4 years old.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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