What Is Organic Plant Food
When you're at the grocery store, you see organic produce, organic cereal, organic bread,
organic dairy products. Is organic plant food the same? Not really. When plant food is
described as organic, that means it is derived from plant or animal sources. While almost any
organic material may be used as plant food, your results can vary.
Types of Organic Plant Food
Some of the most common organic plant foods are bone meal, cottonseed meal, blood meal, fish
emulsion, activated sewage and manures. Parts of your yard are better suited for certain kinds
of organic plant food than others. Here's a brief description of organic plant foods and how
they are typically used.
- Bone meal: a mixture of crushed and coarsely ground bones that decomposes slowly. Use it
when you're planting bulbs.
- Cottonseed meal: a by-product of cotton manufacturing. It is somewhat acidic, so it's ideal
for your acid-loving plants, such as azaleas, camellias, and rhododendrons.
- Blood meal: dried powdered blood from cattle slaughterhouses. It is a very rich source of
nitrogen, so use it carefully. It's also effective for keeping deer out of your garden.
- Fish emulsion: a decomposed blend of finely pulverized fish. It is high in nitrogen, so you
want to be careful. The fishy smell goes away after a day or two.
- Manures: commonly available manures include horse, cow, pig, chicken, and sheep products.
Not all manure is alike, or equally effective. For Miracle-Gro Organic Choice Plant Food,
recycled poultry litter is used from a poultry company. The litter is pasteurized in a unique
process that kills harmful bacteria and weed seeds, and converts it into a high-quality,
low-odor plant fertilizer.
Sometimes, you just want to take a walk on the wild side of organic plant food. In case you
do, try alfalfa pellets. Sold as animal feed, they are rich in nitrogen and make excellent
plant food. You can dig the pellets into the soil or add them to a compost pile. Also, if you
live near an animal- or plant-processing factory, the by-products produced there may be usable.
Contact them for more information.