The best fertilizer for vegetable gardens is a mix of organic and inorganic substances. Organic fertilizers, such as compost or aged manure, provide the nutrients your plants need to grow, while inorganic minerals, like phosphorous and potassium, give the plant energy to use those nutrients.
For a balanced fertilizer, you’ll need to add both organic and inorganic fertilizers. You can find all-purpose fertilizers at most garden centers that include a combination of these two types of fertilizers.
If you’re looking for an organic-only fertilizer, you can create your own by mixing together compost and mulch with water or blood meal.
Fertilizers are a great way to boost your vegetable garden’s productivity. In this article, we’ll talk about the best fertilizers to use in your vegetable garden (chicken manure, cow manure, sheep/goat manure, rabbit manure, horse manure & compost). We’ll also touch on when and how to apply these fertilizers. This is not an exhaustive list of fertilizers that can be used in a vegetable garden but I have found these work really well for me with minimal maintenance required.
Chicken manure is a great source of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. It also contains other nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, sulfur, and iron.
Chickens are fed commercial feed that is high in corn or soybeans which are both low in the trace minerals mentioned above. They make up for this deficiency by eating soil rich in these minerals when they forage for food in their natural habitat. The chicken manure you collect from your coop will therefore be very nutrient-dense from its high content of trace minerals that are essential to plant growth.
Chicken manure has been proven to improve soil fertility while also improving organic matter content and moisture retention which means it can help you grow healthier crops with less irrigation water.
It is easy to use as it comes in pellet form so all you need to do is add it directly into your garden bed before planting seeds or transplanting seedlings – no mixing required.
Cow manure is a great organic fertilizer that contains high amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. It also has plenty of organic matter which benefits the plants by providing them with essential nutrients like calcium and magnesium. The price for cow manure may differ depending on where you live, but typically it’s around $10 per cubic yard or $15 per bag (1/2 cubic foot).
Sheep or Goat Manure
Sheep or goat manure is the best fertilizer for your vegetable garden. The reason why it’s the best fertilizer is because of its high nitrogen content. It’s also affordable and easy to find at most feed stores or even on Craigslist if you’re lucky enough to live in a rural area like me. I’m lucky enough that my neighbor has goats, so I can get as much manure as I want from him.
Goat and sheep manure are ruminants, meaning that these animals’ digestive systems process food by “chewing” it again and again before it enters their stomachs. This gives them an extremely high amount of nutrients – including nitrogen which plants need for healthy growth. If you want your veggie garden to grow big and strong this summer, make sure you use animal manures like goat or sheep manure in your soil whenever possible.
Rabbit manure is high in nitrogen, which means it’s great for growing leafy plants like lettuce and spinach. It also has a good amount of phosphorous, potassium, and calcium. Additionally, rabbit manure is rich in magnesium and sulphur.
While rabbit manure can be effective at growing your veggies, there are some disadvantages:
- Price: Rabbit manure tends to be more expensive than other types of fertilizer because it takes longer for rabbits to produce it than other animals (rabbits only have one litter per year). If you have access to free or cheap rabbit manure then definitely use it.
- Smell: Rabbit manure smells pretty bad when fresh but usually dissipates after drying out a bit or being mixed with other types of soil.
Horse manure is a good source of nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, and sulphur. It also contains calcium and magnesium.
Horse manure can be used in all types of vegetable gardens, but it’s best to avoid using it right after heavy rain as the moisture may have washed away some of its nutrients.
It’s slightly more expensive than chicken or cow manure but still cheaper than most fertilizers made from synthetic chemicals.
Compost is one of the best fertilizers for your vegetable garden. It is made from organic material and can be used on any kind of vegetable and fruit tree. Compost can also be used to fertilize lawns, garden beds, and container plants.
Compost contains nutrients that are essential for plant growth such as nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), and sulphur (S). The price of compost depends on what you buy it in, but prices generally range between $5 to $10 per cubic metre.
How To Apply
Now that you have the right fertilizer and know how to apply it, there are still some factors to consider before making your first application.
Consider these questions:
What type of vegetable will I be planting? How much space do they need? What kind of soil can I expect? What kind of climate do I live in? Is it a cold climate or warm weather one? Are there any pests or diseases affecting my garden?
When To Apply
When it comes to applying fertiliser, you need to consider the type of fertiliser you are using. Animal manure can be applied at any time of year, but compost should only be applied in spring and autumn.
Each of these fertilisers has their own set of benefits for your vegetable garden, so it will be worthwhile to give each one a try.
- Soluble fertiliser
The first and most popular of the fertilisers is soluble, which has added benefits over a granular version because it can be applied directly to the soil. This means that your veggie garden will have access to all of the nutrients in one go, as opposed to having them broken down over time by your plants and soil microbes. However, this doesn’t mean that you should use more than you need: if there is too much soluble fertiliser in your veggie patch, it may encourage pests or disease because too many nutrients are available for them to feed on.
- Slow-release organic fertiliser
Organic slow-release fertilisers work just like conventional ones but they require far less maintenance—which means they’re great if you don’t want all those extra chores. The downside is that they won’t provide instant results—so if you’re looking for something quick-fix then this isn’t going to cut it for you.
We hope that this article has helped you to choose the best fertiliser for your veggie garden. There are a lot of options available on the market, but there are also some great home remedies that can be used if you have the space and time to make them yourself.
If you’re looking for something quick and easy then we suggest using an organic poultry manure because it has everything plants need without any added chemicals that may harm your plants or soil health in the long run.