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Organic Fertilizer Basics

Many organic fertilizers are now available in pre-blended formulas in granular or powdered form. Be wary of a fertilizer labeled organic that has an N-P-K ratio adding up to more than 15. This is an indicator that it may not indeed be made of organic materials -- so read labels carefully. Know what you put on your play areas!

How do I read a fertilizer label?

The label on fertilizer bags lists the percentages of the three primary nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium) as a series of three numbers called the fertilizer grade. For example, if the label has 23-3-6 on the label, the fertilizer contains 23 percent nitrogen, 3 percent phosphorous and 6 percent potassium.

What if I apply too much fertilizer?

Too much nitrogen can burn your grass. That's why it is best to apply moderate amounts of fertilizer on a regular basis rather than large amountsinfrequently. For quickly available forms of nitrogen, no more than one pound of nitrogen per 1000 square feet should be applied in a singleapplication. Once you've applied the fertilizer, there's no turning back. All you can do is stop fertilizing immediately. Rain and watering will carry away the excess over time.

But...where is it carried?!@ It is important to decide whether a perfect lawn is worth polluted water supplies in your neighborhood and community. Prudent choice of fertilizers and other chemicals, as well as the amount of any chemicals you put on your yard will prevent a number of problems.

Is there a 'home brew' recipe for fertilizer?

The 'recipes' of Jerry Baker, well known for his lawn and garden advice,have been seen on television, videotapes and has published books. He recommends in his "Garden Magic" series to add a milk carton size box of epsom salts (which is magnesium sulfate) to a bag of ordinary 29-3-4 fertilizer (the size that covers 2,500 square feet).

As a soil conditioner for low pH soils which are more likely to be deficient in magnesium, epsom saltswill help hold nutrients in the soil and supply the needed magnesium. Mix the epsom salts together in the bag of fertilizer and apply before Noon with a broadcast-type spreader at HALF the recommended rate on the bag instructions.

For more details, see the source of this lawn care information: Yardcare

Southern California organic gardening and farming adds nutrition to the soil, prevents soil erosion, reduces runoff that causes water pollution and cools and filters the air with nature.


There are a million shades of green. Try it! Compare the variety of green to the variety of red in the great outdoors.


Perception helps us broaden our understanding -- and by observing nuances of color, you begin to understand the miracle found in each an every plant. Fertilizer can overwhelm us with lush growth ... and hide the delicacy of plants that prefer a slower way of life.


How can you protect and restore the soil in your own yard -- or your neighborhood?


What WILL you do today to move toward your goal? Even one small action today makes a difference. And you can add a little tomorrow and the next day... Together we will restore our environment in our community and around the world.

For more articles about ORGANIC GARDENING

Organic backyard care
Organic Fertilizer Basics
Garden Hoses