It's no secret that I love plants. However, over the past year, I've been really wanting to branch out and tried my hand at gardening; which I'm so glad I did because it's brought so much joy and happiness! I love hanging out in my backyard and watching how great everything has come together! I will be honest though, gardening came with such a huge learning curve, especially when it came to helping them grow. This is where my research led me to fertilizers and plant food!
Unfortunately, plants are unable to thrive solely on native soil. This is because native soil lacks the necessary nutrients that plants need to grow properly, continue to produce fruit and/or blooms, and build strength against disease and harsh weather. Feeding your plants and replenishing them with fresh soil is crucial to ensuring a healthy plant life! However, not all fertilizers are made the same. Many fertilizers and plant foods that you see advertised are synthetic. While synthetic fertilizers might provide some growth benefits, they're only short-term and result in constant re-application. Not to mention, they don't necessarily improve soil health. In fact, synthetic fertilizers are not organic, and could potentially lead to soil damage and negatively impact the water quality of local groundwater. Additionally, many of these products come packaged in loads of plastic or unrecyclable materials.
Thankfully there is almost always a sustainable option for everything! Sustainable fertilizers and plant food are amazing and make it possible to provide the best nutrients for your plants without harming the soil and natural environment. Here are some of my recommendations for sustainable fertilizers and plant food:
Check your local plant nurseries to see if they offer self-service plant food stations! My local nursery has a barrel filled with their homemade fertilizer that's free to take when you bring your own container!
For those who are far more advanced than I am when it comes to gardening, or if you are just looking to try your hand at creating your own fertilizer and plant food, check out this post filled with lots of DIY soil recipes by Garden Therapy!
Johnny Appleseed is a sustainable fertilizer company named after, Johnny Chapman (aka Johnny Appleseed), an American missionary who introduced apple trees to America back in the 1700s - 1800s. This brand focuses on the importance of Climate Farming to help grow nutritious produce while minimizing and/or completely eliminating the negative effects conventional farming has on the environment. Their ClimateGard - No Kill Eco-Friendly Biodynamic Fertilizer uses microbiology and ethically-derived plant nutrition to provide the same results as conventional fertilizers. Their formula contains ingredients that promote a living soil ecosystem that provides lasting results compared to conventional ingredients which have a negative impact on the environment. Additionally, the fertilizer comes packaged in an environmentally friendly cotton bag with a compostable inner liner.
Den is a sustainable plant food brand committed to providing plant lovers with potting mixes that reduce carbon emissions. Their soil is built around OurCarbon BioChar; sequestered carbon from landfill waste. Their potting mix also includes fir bark from FSC Certified forests and worm castings from California worms. All of the ingredients used in their soil mixes are made within 500 miles of their home office, minimizing transportation emissions, and packaged in recyclable and biodegradable materials.
Looking for water-soluble fertilizer or fertilizer for transplants, check out Plant Success Organics! Their soil is made with a variety of organisms and bacteria designed to help extend root systems, cycle nutrients, reduce your plant's need for increased water and fertilizer, and much more. What makes their products unique is their usage of mycorrhizae, a specialized fungus that helps colonize a plant's root structure, allowing for more effective nutrient absorption. While it is on the pricier end, a little goes a LONG way!