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The Best Garden Fertilizer - 2021

Last updated on June 16, 2021

We looked at the top 11 Garden Fertilizers and dug through the reviews from 27 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best Garden Fertilizers.

Best Garden Fertilizer

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Our Picks For The Top Garden Fertilizers

Show Contents
Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  Best Overall

Dr. Earth Organic 5 Tomato, Vegetable & Herb Fertilizer Poly Bag

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Dr. Earth

Organic Tomato, Vegetable & Herb Fertilizer

Overall Take

Hand Crafted BlendThe nutrients in this garden fertilizer are released quickly and capable of feeding your plants for months.

Experts Included
DWYM Outdoor and Garden Experts plus Outside Modern, The One Sunflower, Garden Consumers, Indoor Garden Nook. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" It contains not only natural ingredients, but probiotics to help encourage healthy and rapid growth."
Cons
"Smells super strong, which can be off-putting."
  Multipurpose Pick

Simple Lawn Solutions Micronutrient Booster Garden Fertilizer

Simple Lawn Solutions

Micronutrient Booster Garden Fertilizer

Overall Take

Great for Maintaining LawnsThis garden fertilizer works well for tomatoes, flowers and grass.

Experts Included
DWYM Outdoor and Garden Experts plus . Along with user reviews from Amazon.
  Use Indoors or Out

Osmocote 274850 Plus Outdoor and Indoor Smart-Release Food (Plant Fertilizer), 8 LB, Brown/A

Osmocote

Plus Smart-Release Plant Food

Overall Take

Tons of NutrientsWith this garden fertilizer, you'll get a solution for both your outdoor and indoor plants, making it extremely versatile.

Experts Included
DWYM Outdoor and Garden Experts plus Ama Top 10, Garden Helpful. Along with user reviews from Amazon and Walmart.
Pros
" Its no burn formula, for instance, is safe for feeding all plant varieties in all weather conditions."
  Works Quickly

Miracle-Gro Garden Feeder with 1-Pound Miracle-Gro All Purpose Plant Food (Plant Fertilizer)

Miracle-Gro

Garden Feeder + 1-lb All Purpose Fertilizer

Overall Take

Fast-Acting SprayWhen you need quick action, this garden fertilizer is the one to choose.

Experts Included
DWYM Outdoor and Garden Experts plus Morning Chores, The Spruce. Along with user reviews from Amazon and Walmart.
Pros
" The water-soluble granules provide instant nutrition to your plants as you apply it to the base of the plant and you should start to see rapid growth within 10 days."
Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
18

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the garden fertilizers available to purchase.
11

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

View All Product Rankings

27

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: Outside Modern, The One Sunflower, Garden Consumers, Indoor Garden Nook, Garden Helpful.

19,091

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including

Our experts reviewed the top 11 Garden Fertilizers and also dug through the reviews from 27 of the most popular review sites including and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Garden Fertilizers.

DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval
Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in their category.

The Best Overall

Dr. Earth Organic 5 Tomato, Vegetable & Herb Fertilizer Poly Bag


Our Expert Score

9.7
4 expert reviews

User Summarized Score

8.8
294 user reviews

Our Take

If you're searching for an organic fertilizer that is free from additives, this garden fertilizer is an excellent choice. In addition to being free from GMOs and chicken manure, this formula feature seven probiotics for added nutrition. The fertilizer is easy to work into the soil surrounding your plants and just needs to be watered for activation.

What other experts liked

It contains not only natural ingredients, but probiotics to help encourage healthy and rapid growth.
- Outside Modern
Excellent for planting both trees and vegetables.
- The One Sunflower
The Dr. Earth Organic Vegetable and Herb Fertilizer starts out by releasing nutrients quickly, but will gradually continue to feed your plants for the next few months.
- Garden Consumers
All of the nutrients are rapidly released and you will see the wonders it does to the tomatoes in just a few days. Expect thicker vines and large blossoms.
- Indoor Garden Nook

What other experts didn't like

Smells super strong, which can be off-putting.
- The One Sunflower
“Fishy”-like smell might attract unwanted insects.
- Indoor Garden Nook

The Best Bang For Your Buck

Miracle-Gro Garden Feeder with 1-Pound Miracle-Gro All Purpose Plant Food (Plant Fertilizer)

Our Expert Score

10.0
2 expert reviews

User Summarized Score

7.7
1,551 user reviews

Our Take

The sprayer on this garden fertilizer makes it easy to apply, providing three different pattern options. The immediate action of this sprayer makes it a great choice for those in a hurry to start their garden. However, this also means you'll have to reapply every week or two to see ongoing results.

What other experts liked

The water-soluble granules provide instant nutrition to your plants as you apply it to the base of the plant and you should start to see rapid growth within 10 days.
- Morning Chores
This product is perfect for all plants: flowers, trees, shrubs, vegetables, and any houseplants. The feed is easy to use.
- The Spruce
July 17, 2019 | Full review

What other experts didn't like

Does not dissolve very well, so you have to mix it well.
- Morning Chores

Our Garden Fertilizer Findings


Dr. Earth Organic 5 Tomato, Vegetable & Herb Fertilizer Poly Bag

What We Liked: If you’re searching for an organic fertilizer that is free from additives, this garden fertilizer is an excellent choice. In addition to being free from GMOs and chicken manure, this formula feature seven probiotics for added nutrition. The fertilizer is easy to work into the soil surrounding your plants and just needs to be watered for activation.


Simple Lawn Solutions Micronutrient Booster Garden Fertilizer

What We Liked: Whether you need to boost your soil’s nutrient content or treat a micronutrient deficiency, this garden fertilizer is the answer. Each bottle is able to cover 3,200 square feet using a pump or hose end sprayer. The fertilizer can be used up to four times per year to feed your lawn, as long as temperatures remain above 60 degrees Fahrenheit.


Osmocote 274850 Plus Outdoor and Indoor Smart-Release Food (Plant Fertilizer), 8 LB, Brown/A

What We Liked: With 11 different nutrients packed in, this garden fertilizer is a great way to get nutrients to your plants. This fertilizer works for both indoor and outdoor plants, making it a solution you can use for all your gardening projects. Its no-burn formula also means you can use it in the hottest summer months without issue.


Miracle-Gro Garden Feeder with 1-Pound Miracle-Gro All Purpose Plant Food (Plant Fertilizer)

What We Liked: The sprayer on this garden fertilizer makes it easy to apply, providing three different pattern options. The immediate action of this sprayer makes it a great choice for those in a hurry to start their garden. However, this also means you’ll have to reapply every week or two to see ongoing results.


Unco Industries (WWSB15LB) Wiggle Worm Soil Builder Earthworm Castings Organic Fertilizer, 15-Pound

What We Liked: Earthworm castings set this garden fertilizer apart from the competition. This organic fertilizer provides a nontoxic, odorless alternative for gardeners. The healthy bacteria in these castings promote plant growth.

Our Expert Consultant

Vicki Liston 
Home Improvement Expert

Vicki Liston writes, produces, and narrates “On The Fly…DIY,” an award-winning home improvement and DIY show of unique project tutorials for the casual DIY’er.

Home improvement and all things DIY have been Liston’s passion since she bought her first house in 2007 and she started making video blogs in 2014. She’s performed hundreds of DIY projects, from small ones to major, wall-smashing renovations and can teach you how to make a trendy DIY barn door for cheap. The proceeds earned from “On The Fly…DIY” are donated to no-kill animal shelters and rescue organizations. You can find her show on Prime Video.

Our Garden Fertilizer Buying Guide

Building a healthy garden means giving Mother Nature a little extra help. Planting the right items for the amount of sunlight a specific area gets is an important first step, but you’ll also have to occasionally water your plants to make up for dry spells.

Another way to give your garden a little boost is through the use of fertilizer. The right kind of fertilizer will provide your plants with a hefty dosage of nutrients that promote healthy growth. But not all plants need the same nutrients, so it’s important to match the fertilizer you use to the type of garden you’re trying to grow.

Home improvement expert Vicki Liston recommends conducting a soil test before purchasing your fertilizer. “Simply dumping nutrients onto a patch of land and crossing your fingers is like playing darts drunk and blindfolded — there’s a high likelihood the pointy end won’t be close to the bullseye,” says Liston, host of “On The Fly…DIY,” an award-winning show with fun project tutorials. “Most county extension centers will conduct low to no-cost soil tests that tell you the pH and nutrient levels. You can also purchase a test kit for yourself.”

Many pet owners have concerns about their furry friends ingesting fertilizer in the days following application. Although the nutrients in fertilizers are generally safe for animal consumption, your pet could get sick if your chosen fertilizer has insecticide as part of the formula. The most dangerous types of insecticides have been reduced by EPA regulations, but it’s always a good idea to keep your pets away from fertilized areas.

One major factor differentiating various fertilizers is their application. Some fertilizers come in traditional bagged form, which means you scoop the contents out and settle them into the desired area. There are also spray fertilizers, giving you a bottle you use to spray every week or two. There are also fertilizer stakes, filled with the desired nutrients that autorelease intermittently.

Buying fertilizer to help save dying plants may not be a good idea. Fertilizers will work only if the reason your plants aren’t growing is that they aren’t getting enough nutrients. Your plants may also be exposed to the wrong amount of sunlight or water, or it could simply be that your garden is too close to tree roots that are competing for growth in the same space.

Organic fertilizers have become a popular option in recent years. These fertilizers eliminate chemicals and odors for a safer way to promote plant growth. You’ll find organic fertilizers are made from natural ingredients like insect excrement, while inorganic fertilizers are manmade.

DWYM Fun Fact

In addition to fertilizer and water, you may want to supplement your garden with a little conversation. Multiple studies have shown the benefits of the human voice for plant growth, with plants being monitored side by side to show the effects of sound versus silence. But female voices may have an advantage in this area. One study found that plants grew an average of one inch taller when subjected to female voices than those exposed to male voices. Interestingly, the best results were seen in a plant that was exposed to the voice of British botanist Dr. Sarah Darwin, who is the great-great-granddaughter of legendary biologist Charles Darwin.

The Garden Fertilizer Tips and Advice

  • Nutrients are probably the first thing to look at when choosing a fertilizer. Some options use earthworm castings that are absorbed in two different forms: one immediate and one in a time-release method that continues to provide nutrition. The water-soluble nutrients in this fertilizer are richer than they were when the earthworms ingested them, putting it among the best plant food you’ll find.
  • After you’ve completed the soil test mentioned in our Buying Guide, look for a fertilizer that replenishes the nutrients your soil is lacking. “Garden fertilizers will show you the percentage of a nutrient on the bag, always in the same order,” says gardening pro Liston. “First nitrogen, then phosphorus, then potassium. For example, a 100-pound bag with the numbers 10-20-10 is telling you that it has 10% nitrogen, 20% phosphorus and 10% potassium.” Shop accordingly for a fertilizer that has your garden in mind.
  • Some companies make fertilizer spikes for specific plants or veggies.
  • Osmocote Plus Smart-Release Plant Food brings 11 different essential nutrients to your plants. The coating on the granules allows water to make its way in, dissolving the nutrients to allow them to seep into the soil.
  • Organic fertilizers that contain castings are filled with plenty of healthy bacteria, which boosts plant growth.
  • In addition to the nutrients they provide, the castings from earthworms improve soil structure, which helps the roots of your plants will grow faster. The material in the castings has the ability to absorb just the amount of water the plant roots need.
  • As convenient as it would be for all fertilizer to promote every type of garden or plant, it simply doesn’t work that way. Organic worm-based fertilizers work for both vegetable crops and plants, including flowers. Miracle-Gro Garden Feeder + 1-lb All Purpose and Osmocote Plus Smart-Release Plant Food are similarly versatile, working for both indoor and outdoor plants.
  • Even if you enjoy gardening, chances are you want a fertilizer that makes your job easier. Fertilizer spikes are one of the simplest methods. Traditional soil-based fertilizer require you to scoop them into place. Other come with sprayers, providing your garden with nutrients in just a few spritzes.
  • Some spikes don’t do as well once they’ve been dampened above ground. That means you’ll need to keep them in the sealed bag and store them in a dry place until you’re ready to use them.
  • If you’re in a hurry, you may want to steer toward fertilizers that go to work immediately. Time-release fertilizer means they take a little longer to start working. They continue feeding for eight weeks, though.
  • The no-burn formulation of Osmocote Plus Smart-Release Plant Food means it’s safe to use on your plants even during those blazing hot summer months.
  • Your own safety is also important. Nontoxic and odor-free fertilizers will give you a worry-free gardening experience.

About The Author

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Stephanie Faris 

Stephanie Faris is a novelist and professional writer. She lives in a beautiful one-acre home in the suburbs on the outskirts of Nashville. Her home and garden work has appeared on popular home sites. She's a true homebody and loves looking at new houses for sale for inspiration on her own home remodeling projects.