If you want to maintain a beautiful patch of flowers or vegetables, you need the right garden supplies. Fertilizer is one of the most significant items you should purchase, as this provides nutrients to help plants grow strong and healthy. However, choosing the correct type can be difficult without experience. Here are several common varieties to help you decide.

What Fertilizer Should You Use in the Garden?

1. Nitrogen

Nitrogen is an essential nutrient that helps plants grow larger, produce new leaves, and bear high quality blooms. These come in two main forms: nitrates and ammonium. Nitrates are beneficial because they dissolve easily in water and move quickly through the soil, allowing plant roots to absorb the fertilizer efficiently. Vegetables thrive with nitrate fertilizer. Ammonium fertilizer can be volatile, but with proper application, it enhances plant growth and gives a steady supply of nitrogen.

2. Phosphate

garden supplies

Plants benefit from phosphorus at all stages of growth. Its primary function is to help plants convert other nutrients into energy, strengthening root systems and promoting flowering. If your plants stop growing or have dark, discolored patches, they may have a phosphorus deficiency.

This fertilizer is slow-acting and long-lasting, meaning it provides nutrients to plant roots over a long period. Generally, adding this to the soil before planting gives the best results. All plants need phosphorus, but plants with limited root growth—such as lettuce, Dahlias, and marigolds—benefit from higher quantities.

3. Potassium

Potassium fertilizers promote strong, deep roots and healthy stalks and stems. Additionally, they strengthen the plant’s defense against diseases and wilt when environmental conditions are poor. This nutrient helps promote photosynthesis and can enhance the quality and size of plants. When adding it to the soil, lay it as close to the root system as possible. Potassium sulfate fertilizer is especially useful for potatoes, roses, and grapes.

4. Organic

Any fertilizer that is made from natural and organic materials is considered an organic fertilizer. These come in three main forms: animal-based, such as manure and fish meal; plant-based, such as compost and seaweed; and mineral, such as greensand and rock phosphate.

Organic fertilizers are excellent sources of nutrients. They last longer than many chemical varieties and can build up over time, providing long-term benefits for the garden. Each material provides unique advantages, so read product labels and research the specific type you want to use. One similarity in the different fertilizers under this term is that they are more eco-friendly than many other varieties.


If you need high-quality fertilizer and garden supplies, contact Bethel Feed & Supply Pet & Garden Center. They have been serving Ohio residents throughout Clermont and Brown counties since 1984. They are a one-stop shop for garden supplies, livestock feed, and landscaping tools. Visit the website for more information about their products. Call (513) 734-2246 to speak to a friendly team member about your needs.