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Organic Fertilizers for your Vegetable Garden

Howdy Gardeners,

Many gardeners wonder what exactly organic gardening means. The simple answer is that organic gardeners don't use synthetic fertilizers or pesticides on their plants. If you have your vegetable garden growing now, chances are you want to do whatever you can to make it healthy and prosperous as possible. One of the keys to making that happen is proper fertilizing. This can make the difference between your best crop yet, or just barely being worth the time and effort. I have used many different types of fertilizers such as: Alaska Fish Emulsion, Kellogg Organic Plus, Espona Garden Tone, and the new Dr. Earth Home Grown.

Alaska Fish Fertilizer

I never use in containers because of odor. In gardens I bury around plant. I've used it for years till I started growing herbs in containers.


Kellogg Organic Plus

I had many great crops when I switched to organic. The granular properties  and nutrients make this a great fertilizer.


Espoma Garden

Tone great balance can even be used on seedlings. I only fertilized every other month with Espoma with great results.


Home Grown Fertilizer

Home Grown fertilizer produces remarkable results because nutrients are released quickly, yet continue to feed for several months. My latest crop is all Dr. Earth and the results are my best crop ever.


Are known to be highly productive plants, so a few minutes spent mixing in fertilizer before you set out plants is time well spent. Just don’t go overboard by applying too much.  Plants often grow slowly in cool spring weather, so wait until the weather warms before you decide how much to use. Some heavy feeders also respond to second helpings later in the season, and all types will benefit from regular applications of liquid plant food. Depending on type of fertilizer I would fertilize anywhere from 1-2 times a month.


Once you have herbs planted and growing, it is important to keep them growing well with a light, all purpose fertilizer. A compost tea,once a week, works to give them a boost. If you think about it, herbs are going to be harvested multiple times in the growing season. This means they will be needing extra energy to keep in their growth cycle for an extended period. When applying, be sure to water the soil and not the leaves themselves with the compost tea. It is healthier for the plant and you will avoid any contamination of the leaves that might be eaten fresh.


Always follow the rates given on the fertilizer label when deciding how much to use. I’ve found that over fertilizing can cause plants to grow huge, but only give a light crop late in the season. With experience, you will learn how to match fertilizer amounts with plants’ needs for your climate and soil.


As a longtime master gardener once told me; “everything needs to eat…even plants”.


Happy Gardening,

Coach Dave

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Posted 2015-06-11T21:44:15+0000  by Dave_HD_OC Dave_HD_OC
Nobel laureate Norman Borlaug, who is often credited with saving the lives of a billion people, had this to say on organic farming:

If people want to believe that the organic food has better nutritive value, it's up to them to make that foolish decision. But there's absolutely no research that shows that organic foods provide better nutrition. As far as plants are concerned, they can't tell whether that nitrate ion comes from artificial chemicals or from decomposed organic matter. If some consumers believe that it's better from the point of view of their health to have organic food, God bless them. Let them buy it. Let them pay a bit more. It's a free society.
Posted 2015-06-13T01:23:07+0000  by Adam444
Dear Adam444,

Thank you for the reply to this sometimes touchy subject. The idea of "organic gardening" goes hand in hand with the pesticides used to control pest's and diseases.

Dr. Norman Borlaug gave the developing world the latest science of his time. We should honor his memory and his legacy by following through with his goal of solving hunger by giving the developing world the tools to grow their own food.

In his last year, Dr. Borlaug joined policy makers in calling for a “Second Green Revolution.” While a global effort to stamp out hunger is needed, a repeat of the first Green Revolution does not honor his achievements.

We will honor him far more by using the latest agroecological methods and accompanying them with reforms needed to bring his dream to fruition. Being a former wrestler and coach as Dr. Norman Borlaug was, I respect his quest for answers as the questions change.

PS, I have tried several types of fertilizers and the taste difference is undeniable to my taste buds.

Happy Gardening,
Coach Dave
Posted 2015-06-15T19:28:12+0000  by Dave_HD_OC
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