As temperatures increase and plants start to wake up, it’s time to think about the best fertilizers to use. We carry MANY great options, from general purpose to more specific types for particular plants. All gardeners have their favorites, I’d like to share two of mine that are great for different situations.

Biotone Fertilizer

Espoma’s Bio-tone is a combination of a fertilizer derived from organic sources, and a significant amount of mycorrhizae. If you’ve ever heard about the underground “tree internet”, this is in reference to mycorrhizae, which are fungal life forms that create amazing connections to most plants. Mycorrhizae can grow right INTO plant roots in a beneficial arrangement for both plants and fungi, where they swap sugars and nutrients. Fungi can reach and access things in the soil that plants cannot; mycorrhizae effectively allow plants to gather far more nutrients from the soil than they would otherwise. Products with mycorrhizae in them must come in direct contact with plant roots in order to gain these benefits, so Bio-tone is sold as a “Starter” fertilizer. However, given the ingredients, you can still use it as a normal fertilizer for established plants. Given this dual purpose, Bio-tone is my go-to fertilizer for most outdoor situations, and I just buy the biggest bag possible and use as needed.

Some wildlife can be attracted to the scent of Bio-tone, so I make sure that even when top dressing or side dressing, that I first scoot the mulch at the base of the plants out of the way, apply the Bio-tone, and then scoot the mulch back over it. 

NPK: 4-3-3

Ingredients: Feather Meal, Poultry Manure, Bone Meal, Alfalfa Meal, Greensand, Sulfate of Potash, and Sulfate of Potash Magnesia. See the link just after the Biotone picture to read the specifics on the Mycorrhizae.

Vegan Mix organic fertilizer

Down to Earth – Vegan Mix – if you are looking for a pleasant olfactory experience and have concerns about pets or wildlife being attracted to other organic fertilizers containing animal-derived ingredients, Down to Earth’s Vegan Mix is a wonderful alternative. It smells just like dried vegetable broth! It is suitable for indoor and outdoor uses, both in containers and in the ground. It has a fine powdery texture – be sure to mix it in well with the soil or potting mix. It is OMRI certified organic – the highest standard of organic certification. Vegan Mix does NOT include Mycorrhizae, however we do carry Mycorrhizal products that can be used in combination with it – see the link to soil amendments at the bottom. 

NPK: 3-2-2

Ingredients: Soybean Meal, Neem Seed Meal, Alfalfa Meal, Rock Phosphate, Langbeinite, Greensand, Kelp Meal and 2.5% Humic Acids derived from Leonardite.

Despite the benign ingredients in these products, do not let your pets eat them, as they may experience digestive upset. 

We have a HUGE selection of organic fertilizers! Check out our live inventory here. We also have a large selection of organic soil amendments, including Mycorrhizal products – see here.