Home Lawn & Garden Best Garden Fertilizers [Buying Guide] in 2020

Best Garden Fertilizers [Buying Guide] in 2020

by Kellen Greene
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Espoma GT18 Garden Tone, 18-Pound
Dr. Earth Home Grown Tomato, Vegetavle & Herb Fertilizer 12 lb
PEARL VALLEY ORGANIX HGR243CP40 Coop Poop Garden Food, 40 lb.
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Espoma GT18 Garden Tone
Dr. Earth Fertilizer
Pearl Valley Organix HGR243CP40
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Espoma GT18 Garden Tone, 18-Pound
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Espoma GT18 Garden Tone
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Dr. Earth Home Grown Tomato, Vegetavle & Herb Fertilizer 12 lb
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Dr. Earth Fertilizer
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PEARL VALLEY ORGANIX HGR243CP40 Coop Poop Garden Food, 40 lb.
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Pearl Valley Organix HGR243CP40
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I don’t know anyone who isn’t excited for summer, the garden parties, barbecues, and just enjoying the sun, the warmth and the garden at its most bright and vibrant.  To really make my garden something special to enjoy this summer, I decided I was going to help my plants grow as big and beautiful as I could.  In doing so, however, I realized just how difficult it was to find the right fertilizer for my plants and to understand when my garden needed to be fertilizer.

There’s a lot of information out there and it got a little confusing to understand what I need to be doing for my plants and what they need from me.  That is why the Surf’n’Buy team are bringing you this handy guide with everything you need to better understand the needs of your garden, when to fertilize and what fertilizers you need to be using.

We have three of the best garden fertilizers available on the market, information on how often you need to fertilize your garden as well as factors to consider when you’re purchasing.  We hope that this will give you everything you need to get out in your garden and make it something to be proud of this summer so that you can really enjoy the sun. I’m certain this guide will have everything you need to know, as well as the right product you need for your plants and garden. Take a read through our buying guide and good luck with your garden this summer.

Top 3 Garden Fertilizers

1. Espoma GT18 Garden Tone

FEATURES

Espoma GT18 Garden Tone is a long lasting, natural and organic fertilizer which breaks down slowly and steadily for prolonged and sustained feeding for your garden plants.  The Bio-tonne microbes help to break down organic material quickly whilst creating a much more conducive growth environment in the soil surrounding the roots. 

Naturally low in salts, Espoma GT18 Garden Tone won’t burn your garden so you can be assured that your plants are completely protected from damage when using this fertilizer.  The natural ingredients are also suitable for people with pets and small children, as well as being much kinder to the environment than synthetic fertilizers.

This fertilizer is ideal for fruits and vegetables because it is safe to use on produce for eating due to the all natural formula.  The even blend makes it suitable for a wide range of produce so here is no need to purchase several different fertilizers for each and every plant.

PROS

  • Specially designed to last longer than other fertilizers, Espoma GT18 Garden Tone reduces the amount of applications needed to keep your plants fed.
  • The exclusive bio-tonne formula breaks down organic material quickly and effectively so that the nutrients your plants need are available to them as soon as possible.
  • The special microbes included in the formula create an effective growing environment and protect your plant from disease, insects and harsh weather.
  • Naturally low in salts, this fertilizer is much less likely to burn your plants and cause damage when applied.
  • This fertilizeris suitable for use in households with small children and pets because it is completely natural without synthetic chemicals.
  • Espoma GT18 Garden Tone is better for the environment because it is completely organic.
  • The even blend of organic materials makes this fertilizer great for many different kinds of garden plant.
  • Suitable for use with many kinds of fruits and vegetables, this fertilizer reduces the cost of buying many fertilizers.
  • The even blend also makes this fertilizer usable at any time of year, whether it’s the beginning of the grow or hunkering down for winter.

CONS

  • As with all organic fertilizers, Espoma GT18 Garden Tone has a strong and unpleasant smell, so it is recommended to bury it below top soil to reduce this, especially on indoor plants.
  • This fertilizer is also very dusty when applying and if this dust is inhaled it can cause discomfort in the lungs.  It is recommended to wear a mask to reduce the risk of this occurring.
  • The balanced NPK of 3-4-4 is great for hardier plants but is not suitable for more delicate plants which will need a more specific N-P-K which will be an extra cost.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

For a top quality, all around fertilizer for your garden, Espoma GT18 Garden Tone is an excellent option for your herbs, fruits and vegetables.  The specialist microbes break down organic matter quickly and create a soil environment that will maintain the feed much longer than other fertilizers to maintain the feed as long as possible.  Naturally low in salts, this fertilizer protects your plants from the risk of burns whilst providing them with the food they need to grow strong and plentiful harvests.  Espoma GT18 Garden Tone can be used with a wide range of plants and produce so there is no need to purchase multiple fertilizers, saving you money overall.

The main drawback of this fertilizer is that it can be very dusty during application and has quite a strong smell.  However, with a little caution, you can use this fertilizer on almost any plant to provide your garden with plenty of nutrients so that your next harvest is the biggest you’ve ever seen.

2. Dr. Earth Fertilizer

FEATURES

Dr. Earth Fertilizer has a balanced NPK of 4-6-3 which is suitable for a wide range of herbs, fruits and vegetables.  This means there is no need to purchase many different kinds of fertilizer for each individual plant.  The non-GMO verification means that you are getting entirely sustainable, natural and organic fertilizer which is best for your plants as well as being kind to the environment.

Crafted with TruBiotic, this fertilizer is alive with probiotic microbes which work to make the soil environment as suitable for growing as possible.  This keeps your plants protected from disease, insects and many other dangers.  Infused with a broad spectrum biological inoculant, your plants will be much more adaptable to their environment and increases the chance of a successful and plentiful harvest.

With one 12 pound bag covering 165 square feet, you can really get the most out of your purchase, making Dr. Earth Fertilizer great value for money and an excellent option for those with larger harvests.  Even better, this fertilizer can feed up to two months which reduces the need for multiple applications throughout the year as it will keep your plants fed for much longer.

PROS

  • The balanced NPK ratio makes Dr. Earth Fertilizer great for a wide range of produce, which is excellent value.
  • The non-GMO certification ensures you are providing only the best for your plants, no synthetics, chemicals, or modified materials.
  • The organic and non-GMO formula makes Dr. Earth Fertilizer the best option for the environmentally conscious.
  • The high yield from every 12 pound bag makes this fertilizer last, saving you money overall.
  • The slow release formula will keep your plants fed for up to two months to reduce the need for multiple applications, saving your time and money.
  • The TruBiotic probiotic steadily improves the soil environment to protect your plant throughout the year.
  • The added inoculant protects your plant more than most other fertilizers to allow them to adapt to different environments and weather conditions to improve the final harvest.

CONS

  • This fertilizer does not dissolve into the soil very quickly and can therefore attract bugs very quickly, which may cause damage to the plant.
  • The smell can be very strong after the first application, especially if applied to the top of the soil or used in a wet mixture as recommended by the instructions. This also makes it unsuitable for use on indoor plants.
  • This fertilizer does not contain calcium or magnesium so these minerals will need to be added in addition to the fertilizer to ensure summer plants get the nutrients they need.
  • This fertilizer is mostly made of fish, fishbone meal and bovine bone meal and this may not be suitable for those who avoid these ingredients.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

If you are looking for a potent and powerful fertilizer for your garden, you can’t get much better than Dr. Earth Fertilizer.  With a balanced, organic and non-GMO formula, this fertilizer will give your garden plants and incredible range of nutrients and minerals so that they can grow quickly and produce impressive harvests.  With additional microbes, the surrounding soil will support roots to allow for a strong foundation for your plants. 

The main drawback to this fertilizer is the strong smell which can be unpleasant to be around as well as attracting bugs and insects which can cause damage to your plant.  However, this is a risk with most organic fertilizers and the sustainable and strong natural ingredients in this fertilizer more than make up for it. If you want the best results from your garden this harvest, Dr. Earth Fertilizer is one of the best options out there.

3. Pearl Valley Organix HGR243CP40

FEATURES

PEARL VALLEY ORGANIX HGR243CP40 helps to support root development and successful nutrient uptake to not only make sure that nutrients are available to your garden, but also that your garden is able to make best use of them.  This all purpose garden fertilizer can be used on any tree, plant or shrub to nourish your entire garden with one great product.  Suitable for flower beds, vegetable gardens and container gardening, you aren’t limited with this fertilizer.

Crafted specifically to have a balanced pH level, there are no risks of burns or damage to your plants from the PEARL VALLEY ORGANIX HGR243CP40.  The organic materials are completely eco friendly and sustainable which ideal for those who are environmentally conscious. The 2-4-3 NPK ratio is ideal for a great number of different plants, whether they are flowering or producing harvestables.  Although it is made from chicken manure, it is compressed into small granules to allow for an easy application into the soil for slow release nutrients.

PROS

  • With the improved root development supported by this fertilizer, your garden will be able to make more effective use of the nutrients available.
  • Suitable for all kinds of plants, you can use this fertilizer across your entire garden without the need for additional fertilizers.
  • This fertilizer is suitable for many different methods of growing, from raised beds to hanging baskets.
  • The balanced pH level reduces the risk of burns and damage to your plants.
  • Environmentally friendly and completely sustainable, this is the ideal fertilizer for the eco conscious gardener.
  • The balanced NPK ratio is slightly higher in nitrogen to provide flowering and harvestable plants have the nutrients they need to grow large and fruitful.
  • Chicken manure is one of the most potent garden fertilizers.
  • Compressed into granules, this fertilizer is much easier to apply than most other chicken manure fertilizers.
  • This fertilizer dissolves quickly into the soil so doesn’t have as much time to attract bugs and cause an unpleasant smell.
  • Very little product is needed to fertilize plants which makes application easy and saves you time and money.
  • This fertilizer can also be used in hydroponics if you prefer liquid application.

CONS

  • There is still a strong smell on initial application because this fertilizer is made from manure.
  • If placed too close to the roots the high nitrogen content can damage the roots of the plant and may not be repairable.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

If you want one of the most powerful fertilizers to make your garden grow, the PEARL VALLEY ORGANIX HGR243CP40 is one of the best options currently on the market. This fertilizer will give you excellent results with the varied nutrients and balanced NPK ratio, which is suitable for a wide range of plants.  The sustainable and environmentally friendly nature of this fertilizer means that it is ideal for homes with small children and pets as it is free from chemicals and synthetics.  It is also formed into easy to apply pellets so that application is quick and easy, just bury it into the soil and let it do its job.

Although this fertilizer does have a high nitrogen content and users must therefore be careful in placing the pellets a safe distance away from the roots of a plant, it is a highly adaptable fertilizer method which can be used dry or wet in a hydroponic system.  That makes this fertilizer ideal for larger farms and gardens as well as smaller gardens and allotments for the home grower.  If you want an adaptable and highly powerful fertilizer that will give you the results you are looking for, the PEARL VALLEY ORGANIX HGR243CP40 is a high quality, high value product for all consumers.

How Often Should You Fertilize Your Garden?

Knowing when to fertilize and how often is one of the most important elements of growing a successful garden.  If you don’t fertilize at the right time and top up when it is needed, then you won’t see the results you want and fertilizing in the first place will have been pointless. 

Most plants need fertilizing in the early spring at the very least to help them through the growing season.  Between spring and summer, plants do the most of their growing and this can be highly stressful on the plant.  By providing enough nutrients by fertilizing at this time alleviates some of that stress and allows the plant to grow much faster.

Annual plants should be fed three to four times with a water soluble fertilizer with a high phosphorus content whilst lawns should be given a second application in early fall with a granular, slow release fertilizer.  Similarly, trees and shrubs will appreciate an application with granular fertilizer in the early spring and a second in the early fall.  Roses are heavy feeders and will need to be fed every week with a soluble fertilizer to make sure they grow large, colorful blooms. 

Remember only to fertilize well-established plants, smaller seedlings will be more susceptible to fertilizer burn so a good quality compost is best for smaller and younger plants.  Different plant species will need different fertilizers, different NPK ratios and different fertilization schedules.  To make sure that your plants get everything they need, make sure to familiarize yourself with the needs of the individual plants before you plan a schedule and purchase fertilizers.  This will ensure that your garden gets the right nutrients at the right time and you have a lush, colorful garden that you can enjoy this summer.


Factors to Consider When Purchasing Garden Fertilizer

Buying the right fertilizer for your garden isn’t always that simple, there are a few things you need to take into consideration to make sure you get the right product for your garden that will give your plants all they need.

Time of Year

If you are planning to fertilize multiple times of year then you need to get a fertilizer which is right for that time of year.  Dry fertilizers need time to break down the organic materials they contain and this is best done in the summer when there is enough warmth and moisture to allow this to happen. If you are planning to fertilize in the winter, a liquid fertilizer is recommended to make sure that the nutrients your plants need are available immediately.  If you are planning to fertilize in the summer, you can afford to use a dry fertilizer.

Purpose of Fertilization

Depending on when you are planning on fertilizing you will need either a slow release or a quick release formula.  If you are getting your soil ready for a new growth then a slow release is what you need.  However, if you are looking to boost growth or make sure that summer plants get enough food, you will need a quick release formula, most likely in liquid form to ensure all nutrients are available to your plant immediately.

Kinds of Plants and Produce

The plants and kinds of produce you are growing will change the kinds of fertilizers you need for your garden.  Demanding plants with large flowers will need a higher nitrogen content and most likely a higher level of minerals such as magnesium to maintain their color.  Other plants which are more low maintenance may simply need a balanced formula to give them the nutrients they need to stay fit and healthy. Do some research on the kinds of plants you own and what they need from a fertilizer before you buy a product.  This will allow you to manage your plants’ needs and create a fertilizer schedule that is specifically tailored to the needs of your garden.


Conclusion

Giving your garden the right nutrients with the right fertilizers is an important step in growing the beautiful garden you’ve always imagined.  Fertilizer can be complicated as it’s not always easy to know when to fertilize and what fertilizer you need to be using and why.  Different plants need different nutrients, so understanding this is of the utmost importance. We hope that this guide has helped you by providing all the information you need to get the most out of your plants this summer and truly enjoy your garden.

If are looking for something easy to apply which will provide powerful results, the Espoma GT18 Garden Tone and PEARL VALLEY ORGANIX HGR243CP40 are two excellent options which are suitable for many different kinds of plants.  However, if you’re looking for something high quality a bit stronger, a bit more sustainable, Surf’n’Buy’s favorite product is Dr. Earth Fertilizer.  The added probiotic and innovative formula makes for a quick breakdown of materials to make nutrients almost immediately available to your plants.

No matter what kind of plants you grow in your garden, all three of these fertilizers will offer you great results if applied at the right time.  These guidelines should help you to figure out a fertilizer schedule which suits your garden to make sure the right nutrients are available to your plants when they’re hungry and need it most. We hope this guide has helped you find the perfect fertilizer for your plants and that we will see you again soon in our next guide, whatever you might be buying.

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