Granular, Pelleted, Soluble and Liquid Fertilizers – Which is Best?

textured fertilizer

Understanding textured fertilizers for your garden

Growing up is hard to do. Just ask your vegetable garden. In just a few short months, all those veggies will go from seed to ready-to-harvest size. Even the smallest vegetable, like a Cherry Belle radish or a Little Finger carrot, will have increased in size by several hundred percent.

To grow so much in a short amount of time, your vegetables need good nutrition. This means providing organic fertilizers in the proper quantities and frequencies. You know you need to check the NPK (learn more about this in our video Plant Nutrition). But what kind of fertilizer is best?

Different Fertilizer Textures

Granular Fertilizers

Many fertilizers, such as Bio-Live, are granular, the most common form for application.

  • Easy to apply, just turn them into the soil or top-dress them around each plant and water them in.
  • Typically are quick and easy for the plants to absorb
  • Needs to be reapplied every month or two as they get used up or leached out of the soil.

Pelleted Fertilizers

Pelleted such as Nutri-Rich, are convenient if you want to provide nutrients slowly and over a long time. These are particularly good for heavy feeder crops like corn and tomatoes. To apply a pelleted fertilizer, just sprinkle it around each plant at the quantity directed on the packaging. You may only need to reapply once mid-season.

Water Soluble Powders

Powders such as Maxicrop Kelp Extract are usually dissolved in water before application. They can then be hand-watered in, or injected into the irrigation system. This makes the nutrients quickly available to the plants, but also requires more frequent application.

Liquid Fertilizers

Liquids such as our All Purpose Liquid Fertilizer, are very easy to apply. You can use them just like soluble powders, but without the work of mixing. They are easily utilized by your veggies, and like soluble powders they should be applied frequently (typically every one or two weeks). So between equally nutritious fertilizers in different forms, which should you choose? That depends on you. Some people find it easier to use solid fertilizers, others prefer liquids.

Whether you choose fish meal or liquid fish, kelp meal or liquid kelp, or Bud and Bloom granular fertilizer, your plants will enjoy the meal.

For more information on plant nutrition, see our recent article on Cation Exchange Capacity.

Back to blog


Ren, great for making the switch to organic! I don’t know about clearing out of a plant, but the problem with most non-organic fertilizers is that it is way more than the plant needs and it can be unhealthy for the soil. If you don’t have much left of the non-organic fertilizer, maybe give it to someone who wants it or dump it. It is really up to you about what to do with it.


Thank you for this information to help us garden organically. I have a question: I intend to go all organic with growing my plants, but I have a limited amount of the following non-organic fertilizers available for me to use:

15-0-0-5 Calcium Nitrate
20-10-20 ‘Plant Marvel’ (a water soluble fertilizer)
21-0-0-22 Ammonium Sulfate

If I were to use these up in my garden until they run out (after which I would invest in organic fertilizers), would it be unhealthy to consume the fruits/plants grown with these fertilizers? If unsafe, do you happen to know how long these fertilizers would persist in the plant tissue before being ‘cleared out’ of the plant’s system?

Thank you, again, for sharing with us this useful information for those of us interested in organic gardening!


Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.

Carbon-neutral shipping with Shopify Planet
Carbon-neutral shipping on all orders
shipping emissions removed
That's like...
miles driven by an average gasoline-powered car
We fund innovations in...
Powered by Shopify Planet