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Fertilizer is an essential part of the growing process. Fertilizers contain various nutrients for plants such as potassium, nitrogen and phosphorus that help plants grow faster and healthily. Since most soil doesn’t provide such nutrients, fertilizer is a necessary part of the gardening world.
Not all fertilizers are created equally so it is best to get the most targeted formula for what you are treating. Looking to fertilize your lawn? Then a dedicated lawn formula is right for you. Want to fertilize indoor plants that might lack more nutrients than their outdoor counterparts? Then you'll want something easy and mess-free. No matter what your garden holds, we've got the best fertilizer for your job.
01 of 08
Best Overall Fertilizer: Miracle-Gro All Purpose Plant Food
Our overall pick instantly feeds your plants to grow to the greatest of their abilities. By using this specific feed on your plants over 1 to 2 weeks, you will get maximum growth. This product is perfect for all plants: flowers, trees, shrubs, vegetables, and any houseplants.
The feed is easy to use. If you are using the brand garden feeder hose attachment, all you have to do is fill the jar, attach your hose, set the sprayer, and you are good to go. You can also simply add the feed to any watering can. ½ a teaspoon to a full teaspoon is all you need to feed your plants while you are watering.
While too much of most feeds could actually damage your plants, Miracle-Gro promises not to burn through any of your outdoor or indoor plants. For a 5-pound box feeds over 2,000 square feet of plants.
02 of 08
Best for Fertilizer for Grass: Scotts Turf Builder Lawn Food
Scotts’ Turf Builder Lawn Food doesn’t only focus on feeding and strengthening your current lawn situation, but it also helps in preventing and protecting against any future lawn problems as well. This fertilizer assists in building a strong foundation for your lawn, and guarantees deep roots for your grass.
Along with adding nutrients to your yard, Scotts’ Turf Builder Lawn Food also helps your grass and shrubs absorb more water, as opposed to an unfed lawn, and crowd out pesky weeds. Depending on different nutrients and ingredients in each formula, it is common for home owners to change up their feed. This formula has rendered that unnecessary, being recommended for all seasons.
One thing to keep in mind with lawn food is how large your lawn is, and how you plan on distributing the feed. This formula works best when using a spreader, which makes for an additional cost when fertilizing your lawn.
03 of 08
Best for Indoor Plants: Miracle-Gro Indoor Plant Food Spikes
Fertilizing your indoor plants has never been easier. Your plants deserve the same nutrients as their outdoor counterparts. Food spikes are the perfect, mess-free option; stick it into your indoor plant’s pot soil, and your work is done.
One spike can feed your plant for about two months, give or take its size. It would probably be best to send a calendar reminder to yourself, since being two-months worry free can lead to you completely forgetting to change or discard a food spike.
The micronutrients in this formula were specially crafted to give your houseplants a long, healthy lifespan. You can use the diameter of your plant’s dripline to determine how many spikes one houseplant will need. The measurement goes as followed: a 4-foot drip line diameter or fewer calls for 1 spike, 6-feet calls for 3, 8-feet calls for 5, 10-feet calls for 7, 12-feet calls for 10, and 15-feet calls for 16. Just insert and watch your houseplants grow.
04 of 08
Best for Gardens: Jobe’s Organics Bone Meal Fertilizer
Your garden calls for tender love and care, and the perfect fertilizer so your plants can soar. Whether you are gardening to keep your house beautifully surrounded with life or to grow your own food — or both —Jobe’s Organics’ Bone Meal Fertilizer packs a perfectly concentrated formula to keep your garden alive and well.
Organically feed your tubers, vegetables, fruits, flowers and bulbs with USDA certified feed. The compound contains 2% Nitrogen, 14% phosphate, and 15% calcium to promote steady root growth and healthier blooms. The granulated formula reduces the chance of the feed getting directly on your plants and burning through them during the application process.
Every three months, or roughly every season, add Jobe’s Organics’ Bone Meal Fertilizer to your garden for optimal development and nutrition. The ‘all-green’ and organic movements aren’t going anywhere, so a natural fertilizer is a great option for those who want to steer clear of spreading harsh chemicals in their gardens.Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08
Best for Trees: Jobe’s Tree Fertilizer Spikes
Your trees don’t exactly require any special treatment in the world of fertilizers, but food spikes are an easy way for your rooted lawn trophies to continue to soar and ensure nutrients are getting to the core. Tree spikes are a no fuss, mess-free, and waste-less option to feed your trees and shrubs.
These are formulated to work well with various species of trees like oak, birch, elm, dogwood, maple, redbud, poplar and more. The spikes don’t give off any runoff that would come from other manual feeds. Spikes get below the surface of trees, where the real growth happens.
Measure your drip line according to your branch spread, and hammer down the spikes in place. Then your job is done, for the most part. They tend to last for a couple of months. Many people only use them in the springtime, or just once a year for good measure, to promote growth.
06 of 08
Best Liquid Fertilizer: Fox Farm Big Bloom Liquid Concentrate Fertilizer
For those green thumbs that just can’t say no to anything eco-friendly, Fox Farm Big Bloom Liquid Concentrate Fertilizer is a great option for feeding you lawns and gardens. This formula is micro-brewed to include earthworm casings and bat guano to keep your plants green and thriving.
While dry fertilizer is usually mixed with water to create a nutrient solution, liquid fertilizer is stronger, and commonly used by commercial professionals. Liquid fertilizer seeps deep into your soil, penetrating it in all the right places to ensure your best lawn yet.
Fox Farm’s liquid fertilizer is very nutrient and naturally focused. The formula also includes Norwegian kelp, and rock phosphate to increase yield and evenly transfer the energy of your plants. Their Big Bloom formula is known for its ability to intensify the smell of your flowers thanks to highly concentrated ingredients. This is a great feed option for those who are looking to get the best out of their flower beds and bulbs.
07 of 08
Best Indoor and Outdoor: Osmocote Plus Outdoor and Indoor Plant Food
A multi-use fertilizer is ideal for those who like to get the job done without the need for a ton of tools. The Osmocote Plus Outdoor and Indoor Smart-Release Plant Food is enriched with 11 nutrients and can feed a plant for up to six months. Gardeners and homeowners know how much maintenance their greens require.
Serious gardeners and newbies alike can enjoy this feed with ease. It comes with a small scooper that you can use to measure the feed of each plant. Simply add it to your soil, and mix it into the top layer. Check your plants every six months for reapplication.
When it comes to fertilizer, smart-release granules are a great idea for those looking to feed their plants and not have to worry about it for a long time. You only have to feed your plants twice a year for optimal growth. This formula is said to work with all plant types.
08 of 08
Best Fertilizer for Tomatoes: Jobe’s Tomato Fertilizer Spikes
Growing tomatoes takes some finesse and part of the key to growing these luscious fruits is using the right fertilizer. These spikes feed the roots with their time released technology which ensures they are always getting the right amount of healthy nutrients. These spikes feed for about eight weeks so you will need to replace them a few times throughout the tomato growing season.
Suitable for both potted and garden tomatoes these spikes will take the worry out of remembering when to feed your summer's bounty. Just be sure to set a reminder on your phone for when to replenish. And customers have noted they've used these on other fruits and vegetables like strawberries and collard greens.