Fertilizer for Growing Herbs
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Bradley Goewey
Posted on: September 04, 2006

What type of fertilizer would I use for growing all types of herbs?

Plants require many different nutrients, but the most important are nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Typically, fertilizers are rated by their "N-P-K" content, the letters referring to their nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) content calculated as percentages by weight. Most common herbs are grown for their foliage and fertilizers high in nitrogen encourage leafy growth. Herbs that are grown for their flowers or roots do better with a fertilizer higher in phosphorus than nitrogen. In specialized commercial herb growing settings it is often desirable to fine tune the balance between these and other macro- and micro-nutrients by using specially formulated fertilizers. However, for home gardeners, a balanced chemical fertilizer such as 20-20-20 or 7-7-7 works fine on most common herbs. Organic fertilizers such as fish emulsion or composted manure have lower numbers, but they are equally effective as fertilizers because they provide additional micronutrients or organic matter.

For more information on fertilizers on herbs please see:


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