Re: How to select a good organic fertilizer
Here is a great basic post on fertilizers to get you started.
I really like the Epsoma brand fertilizers. They are easy to find – many of them are available in Home Depot and Lowes, and as well as the basics like bonemeal, bloodmeal, and greensand, there is a mix (which they call ‘tone’ ie. Holly-tone, Plant-tone) for many different types of plants. These fertilizers also contain beneficial micro-organisms which can be a real boon if your soil is poor in these (sometimes due to over feeding with synthetic fertilizers- the longterm fix is compost, compost, compost and mulch!.)
You should adjust the numbers to suit what you are growing. The middle number refers to phosphorus. This nutrient is very important for root growth and flowers, consequently it should be high in fertilizers meant for annual flowers or bulbs. Bone meal is a good organic source of phosphorus, so if you are growing bulbs or annuals and your fertilizer does not have a high middle number, you can add a little bonemeal to your plantings.
One of the advantages of organic fertilizers such as bone meal is that they need to be digested by the soil before they are available for the plants to use, this means they are slower acting and released steadily over a long period of time making them fairly fool-proof for mixing your own. Unlike with synthetic fertilizers it is difficult to ‘overdue it.’ The Espoma website has some good basic information about organic and synthetic fertilizers. Sorry for the long post, but this is a fascinating subject. It would be good to hear what some other people have used.