The Perks of Liquid Fertilizer

Providing consistent nutrient supply to plants can be a challenge for the organic gardener.  Increased selection and availability of complete organic granular fertilizers has helped, but one characteristic of all of these fertilizers is both their advantage, and their disadvantage – they release slowly over time.  That’s a good thing when you want a sustained feeding that won’t burn; but sometimes you need to push things along a little faster.

Liquid organic fertilizers provide a great solution for these situations.  Unlike their granular counterparts, liquid fertilizers are instantly available for the plants to use, and the organic ones won’t burn your plants in hot weather, as long as you apply in the cool part of the day.  Results appear rapidly, but the feeding only lasts for a week or two.

Mix your choice of fertilizer with water according to label directions and apply to the foliage of your plants, and the soil around them.  I use a watering can at home, but you could also use a sprayer if you need to feed a lot of plants.  If you want to make liquid feeding your only fertilizer, you should repeat every week; I find it more practical to use granular fertilizers for my major feeding, then supplement with a liquid fertilizer at critical times – pushing new plants faster than the bugs and weeds can overwhelm them, or encouraging 5 foot tall tomatoes to flower a little sooner, or for flower pots and hanging baskets in late summer to keep them blooming through the fall.

Select your organic liquid fertilizer for the crop or growth you want to encourage – a higher nitrogen fertilizer like Alaska Fish Fertilizer or Gardner & Bloome High Growth for leaf crops and corn, shade trees and conifers, or a higher phosphorus blend like Alaska Morbloom or Gardner & Bloome High Bloome to increase fruiting and flowering on plants like geraniums or tomatoes.  Or if you prefer to get a broader feeding and not fuss with details and multiple bottles, use Gardner & Bloome All Purpose.

~Darren Morgan