Is it necessary to add organic fertilizer if I'm adding lots of compost

Asked February 9, 2017, 2:25 PM EST

Hello, I have raised garden beds that are 50% compost and 50% top soil. I've planted tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, etc in them last summer and they did really well. I keep hearing about adding organic fertilizers like blood meal, bone meal, etc and was considering buying Espoma Garden Tone which has an NPK of 3-4-4 for asparagus, tomatoes, and most of my vegetables. Will it make a difference? Will I be over-doing it with my garden? Also for my blueberries, I was thinking of Espoma's Holly Tone 4-3-4 which is for acid-loving plants. And then I hear about rock phosphate which I was considering for my asparagus (which will be planted in ground...though after a soil test, it said my Phosphorus levels were low, but then I thought, well, maybe I should just get the Garden Tone and that would be enough. Do you think I should get individual bags of Bone Meal and Kelp Meal, and all those specific types or get a general bag of organic fertilizer like Garden Tone. And can I just mix it into the soil before planting or will that be bad for the roots. Or should I mix it into the soil one month before planting?

Howard County Maryland fertilizer compost vegetable

1 Response

A 50/50 mix is a great one. Most crops will not need extra nutrients, and you will be fine if you add an additional inch of compost each year. The only time there could be a less-than-robust plant response could be in early spring when the ground has not warmed up enough yet so the microorganisms are not as active.
If your phosphorus levels are low on your soil test, you can use the Garden Tone on the asparagus, and the Hollytone for the blueberries.
It is likely less expensive to buy the meals individually, but Garden Tone contains many ingredients, including additional beneficial microorganisms.
Either way, it's a personal choice, given that you've got such good soil.
It can be mixed right in at planting time.
Follow label instructions.

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