Types of Fertilizer: Complete Guide

There are many different types of fertilizer available on the market. Some fertilizers are organic, some are inorganic, some are slow release, some are quick release, and so on. What’s the difference? What fertilizer should you use? What’s best to use for your plants? The purpose of this article is to help you understand some of the different types of fertilizers available on the market today.

What is Fertilizer?

Watering and fertilizing plants

Fertilizer is a substance that is used to give nutrients to plants. It can be organic or inorganic (chemical). The fertilizer is mixed with water and then applied to the soil where the plant is growing. The fertilizer contains the nutrients needed by the plant to grow and develop.

Types of Fertilizers and Their Uses

Fertilizers are an essential part of the agricultural process. They are used to help plants grow and yield a good crop. Fertilizers are used in all phases of production. They can be used as seed treatments, top dressings, sidedressings, or basal fertilizers. The fertilizer type chosen for use depends on the type of crop, soil condition, and the stage of growth of the crop.

Soils are naturally composed of minerals, air, water, and organic matter. Soil conditions vary from place to place depending on the climate. All plants need nutrients to grow properly. These nutrients are not naturally available in the soil due to the biodegradation of organic matter and the weathering of minerals. Soil nutrients are added to the soil through manure and crop residues, along with commercial fertilizers, to help ensure a good crop.

Fertilizers are used in three different ways: as seed treatments, top dressings, and basal fertilization.

Seed treatments are seed treatments to the soil before planting. The soil is prepared and then the seeds are planted. Seed treatments are usually used on crops that are planted in tight rows with little or no spacing between plants. The fertilizer is mixed with the soil before the seeds are planted.

Top dressings are applied after the crop leaves the seedling stage. Top dressings are applied on a row-by-row basis. Top dressings are used on crops that are planted in rows with adequate spacing between plants. A top dressing is a method of applying the fertilizer to the soil surface. The fertilizer is mixed with the soil on the surface of the row at regular intervals.

Basal fertilization or side dressing is the fertilizing of the soil between rows and is done during the growth stage of the crop. Basal fertilization is usually done on a row-by-row basis. It is usually done on crops that are planted in rows with adequate spacing between plants.

The types of fertilizers for plants applied to a crop are based on the plant’s needs and the soil conditions. There are many different types of commercial fertilizers available for purchase. It is important to know which ones are needed for application to a crop to ensure a successful crop.

So, what type of fertilizer should you use? Let`s learn this information.

Organic Fertilizers

Mixing fertilizer with soil

Organic fertilizers are fertilizers that are derived from a natural source. There are many types of organic fertilizer:

  • manure (such as cow manure, horse manure, chicken manure, and rabbit manure);
  • compost;
  • leaf mold.

The advantage to organic fertilizers is that they contain natural nutrients and are usually safer to use than inorganic fertilizers. Organic fertilizers are also usually richer in nutrients than inorganic fertilizers.

The disadvantages of organic fertilizers are that they don’t contain the same amount of nutrients as inorganic fertilizers and that they take longer to release the nutrients into the soil. Organic fertilizers are also not as readily available as inorganic fertilizers.

Organic fertilizers are best used in an established garden. They can be used in landscaping projects but can be slow-acting and may not see results until the next growing season.

Organic fertilizers are the most economical and environmentally friendly so if you are looking to save money and reduce your carbon footprint this is the way to go.

Inorganic Fertilizers

Inorganic fertilizers are fertilizers that are derived from a non-living source. This includes types of chemical fertilizers such as ammonium nitrate, ammonium sulfate, urea, and potassium chloride.

The advantages of inorganic fertilizers are that they are readily available and that they contain the exact amount of nutrients that are listed on the package.

The disadvantages of inorganic fertilizers are that they can be harmful to your plants and the environment and that they can burn the roots of your plants if they are not used correctly.

Inorganic fertilizers can contain excessive amounts of salts that can build up in the soil and burn the roots of your plants. It is very important that you water your plants with fertilizer water rather than plain water. Fertilizer water is water mixed with a small amount of fertilizer. By doing this, you are diluting the salts in the soil and helping to flush them out of the soil.

The salts in inorganic fertilizers can also be harmful to the environment. If you are growing plants with edible fruits or vegetables, these salts can be harmful to the plants and the people eating the fruits and vegetables.

Fertilizer in hand with glove

Other plants may not be harmed by the salts, but they may have negative effects on the soil in which they are growing.

However, sometimes the soil condition is very poor and the soil gets completely deteriorated. The plants are still able to bear fruit but the quality is very poor. In such a situation the application of inorganic fertilizer helps to improve the quality of the fruit.

Inorganic fertilizer is also helpful during the cultivation of plants that are on their own roots and which are prone to diseases as a result of poor soil conditions. In such a situation, the application of inorganic fertilizer helps to improve the condition of the land and also provides resistance to the plants against diseases.

Inorganic fertilizer is also used to increase the quantity of produce. For example, in the case of watermelon, fertilizer is used that will increase the size of the fruit.


Bio-fertilizers, also known as compost tea, is a natural fertilizer that is made from decomposing organic material. It is used to fertilize plants by spraying it on them.

Compost tea is made by soaking compost in water for several weeks and then allowing the water to sit. The water is then sprayed on the plants.

The advantage to using bio-fertilizer is that it is organic and it is a natural way to fertilize your plants.

The disadvantages of using bio-fertilizer are that it is only a temporary fertilizer and that it can be hard to make.

There are also many different bio-fertilizer types available on the market today. Some of these fertilizers are made from coffee grounds, fish, and seaweed. Each of these fertilizers has its own specific benefits. For example, seaweed contains lots of nutrients such as phosphorous.

You should use a bio-fertilizer when your plants are about two weeks old. If you use it before then, you might have to wait a while for the plants to get used to the new fertilizer.

Use bio-fertilizer at a rate of one teaspoon per pot. You can also use it as a weekly maintenance dose, which means you can mix it with water and spray it onto the leaves.

When you are using it as a weekly dose, use one teaspoon per pot and spray it onto the leaves and then water it in. You can wait for a while after that and spray again if you want to.

Chemical nitrogenous fertilizer

Chemical nitrogenous fertilizers are the most common type of nitrogen fertilizer that is used today. These fertilizers are usually derived from ammonia, urea, or ammonium nitrate.

The advantage to using chemical nitrogenous fertilizers is that they are readily available.

The disadvantage of using chemical nitrogenous fertilizers is that they are quickly used by the plants and must be reapplied frequently.

You should start using chemical nitrogenous fertilizer when the plant is 3 inches tall and 6 inches wide.

At that point, the plant needs about 10 ppm (parts per million) of available nitrogen. The plant needs about that much nitrogen through the entire vegetative cycle. This kind of fertilizer will help you to grow a lush green lawn with a thick, strong root system.

Complete fertilizer/ NPK fertilizer

Complete fertilizers are fertilizers that contain three of the major nutrients that plants need – nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium.

There are many different complete fertilizers available on the market today.

Some of these fertilizers are usually derived from ammonium nitrate, urea, potassium chloride, or triple superphosphate.

Fertilizers for plants

The advantage to using complete fertilizers is that they are usually more balanced and easier to use. They are also easier to store and less likely to be overused.

The disadvantage of using complete fertilizers is that they provide all the nutrients in the fertilizer at once. This may be too much of a good thing at the wrong time. For example, if you put on a complete fertilizer when the plants are most active, such as in the spring, the fertilizer will be close to the roots when the plants are trying to set fruit or make flowers. This could result in excessive vegetative growth and a reduced fruit (or flower) set. So what’s the answer? The answer is to use a liquid fertilizer at the right time of the year.

You can use this kind of fertilizer if:

  • you want to feed the plants which have already grown and are flowering or fruiting;
  • you want to feed the plants which have already grown and are flowering or fruiting;
  • you want to feed the plants during propagation;
  • you want to include more nutrients in the soil.

Slow-release fertilizer

Slow-release fertilizers are fertilizers that take a long time to release the nutrients into the soil. They usually contain chemicals such as nitrogenous polymers, lignin, or cellulose.

These fertilizers release the nutrients into the soil over a period of time, and usually contain a lower amount of nutrients than quick-release fertilizers.

The advantage to using Slow-release fertilizer is that the nutrients are released slowly over a longer period of time. This reduces the risk of fertilizer burn and creates better, stronger, healthier plants.

The disadvantage to using slow-release fertilizers is that they take a long time to release the nutrients and they are usually less effective than quick-release fertilizers.

Slow-release fertilizers are the best choice for perennials and shrubs. These fertilizers should be applied every month or every other month

Quick-release fertilizer

Quick-release fertilizers are fertilizers that release nutrients into the soil quickly. This means that they usually contain a large number of salts. They are usually derived from ammonium nitrate, urea, or potassium chloride.

The advantage to using quick-release fertilizer is that it is a one-time application, which makes it easy to apply. A few days after the initial application, the grass will start to show signs of new growth. The grass should be green and lush within a week.

The disadvantage of using quick-release fertilization is that you will need to monitor the Ph of your solution and you will need to change the solution every week. You will also need to re-dissolve the fertilizer in water to create a solution.

It’s a good idea to use them every time you transplant your seedlings, when they move from their original containers into larger ones, or when you transplant them into the garden.

Types of Fertilizer FAQ

Fertilizer above ground in hand

Knowing what fertilizers are all about can be a difficult proposition. Trying to sort out the “facts” from the “myths” can be very confusing.

Ask yourself some questions about your fertilizer knowledge. I hope you`ll find your must-have information here.

What are the types of organic manure?

Organic manure is the best alternative to chemical fertilizers to make the soil fertile. Organic manure is also known as compost, manure, etc.

Types of organic manure:

1. Green manures

Green manures are grown mostly in the form of plants. These are plowed after crop harvest to give nutrients to the soil. These are used mainly as mulch.

2. Farmyard manure

Farmyard manure is the waste from the animals. It is rich in nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. It is harvested from the animals as manure and is used as organic manure.

3. Compost manure

Compost is a mixture of organic matter and soil. It is made by mixing the manure, crop residues, and green manures. It is made with the addition of soil to increase its fertility.

What is the difference between some types of liquid fertilizer and granular fertilizer?

Liquid fertilizer is diluted with water and poured over the ground. It is absorbed into the soil more quickly than granular fertilizer.

Granular fertilizer, on the other hand, is spread on top of the ground. It does not leach into the soil as quickly.

Liquid fertilizer and granular fertilizer are both effective in feeding the soil with nutrients. However, a granular product may be more appropriate in a lawn situation where nutrients need to be released over time, and therefore should be applied more frequently.

How long does it take for fertilizer to work?

The effectiveness of fertilizer depends on conditions such as soil temperature, moisture, and soil pH. Usually, it takes a few weeks to a month before you can see the results.

What is the difference between summer and winter fertilizer?

Winter fertilizer is made of slow-release products that are effective through the winter months. Summer fertilizer is made of fast-acting products that provide nutrients fast to help boost your plants in hot summer months.


Many people use fertilizers on their plants. What fertilizer should you use? What is the best fertilizer for your plants? The best fertilizer for you depends on your plants and your soil. It is important to know the type of fertilizer that you need before purchasing it. This can help you to achieve a successful crop.

With this article, I hope I have helped you to learn about types of fertilizer. I wish you good luck in your gardening projects.

Do you have any questions? Leave your comments below.

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