What is the Best Way to Fertilize Plants?


I’d like you to meet my favourite plant fertilizer

We used it in our greenhouse system when I was the perennial grower at my family greenhouse, and I continue to use it now in my home garden and with my houseplants with great success.

It’s called Nature’s Source Plant Food.  Let me tell you more about it. Nature’s Source is an exceptional blend of organic and synthetic materials.

Oilseed extract is the organic component that makes it so distinctive.  Oilseed extract is a natural source of plant nutrition resulting in this plant food containing the same natural organic compounds found in seeds — it delivers balanced nutrition to all crop types, which is a fancy word for every kind of plant:  annuals, perennials, trees, shrubs, fruit & vegetable crops.  And you don’t have to keep Nature’s Source as just a garden fertilizer – it works well with houseplants and tropicals. 

Nature’s Source is available in 3 different formulations:

  • All Purpose Plant Food 10-4-3
  • Organic Plant Food 3-1-1
  • Tomato and Vegetable Food 10-4-5

Nature’s Source Benefits Plant Growth as seen by:

  • Brighter flowers 
  • Darker foliage 
  • Earlier flowering 
  • Better toned plants

Other Great Benefits of Nature’s Source:

  • Nature’s Source is a natural and renewable resource. 
  • Nature’s Source is GMO free, heavy metal free, and pathogen free, which means that it carries no diseases.
  • Nature’s Source is efficient:  It is a one-stop plant food – Nature’s Source works well with everything: annuals, perennials, trees, shrubs, vegetables, herbs, houseplants, and tropicals.
  • It is lower in salts than synthetic fertilizer.
    • Less fertilizer salt content means that carbon is more readily available in the soil for soil borne microbes.
  • It leaves no residue on the leaves.
  • It’s easy to use as a liquid or foliar spray:
    • For the liquid fertilizer: mix 1 tbsp. (15 ml) with 1 gallon (4 litres) of water
  • Nature’s Source is free of heavy metals.
  • And, it won’t stain your fingers blue.

About the Formulation of Nature’s Source

Nature’s Source has a unique macronutrient and micronutrient formulation.  Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium, amino acids, magnesium, and calcium in a natural form & balance (good news for tomatoes!) are combined in a way to improve plant growth and performance.

If you would like more detailed information on fertilizer and what the N-P-K macronutrient numbers mean, see my blog called ‘How to Understand Fertilizer Labels’.

On the technical side, let’s compare Nature’s Source and Water-Soluble Fertilizer:

  • Nature’s Source contains: NPK (10-4-3) + Trace Elements + Amino Acids + Vitamins + Calcium & Magnesium
  • Water Soluble Synthetic fertilizer contains:  NPK (many different formulations) + Trace Elements

When you see Nature’s Source macronutrient (N-P-K) breakdown of 10-4-3, you may stop in your tracks and think that it only has half the strength of Nitrogen and even less Phosphorous and Potassium than many fertilizers on the market.


The N-P-K analysis on water-soluble fertilizer labels is a percentage based on weight. 

Nature’s Source is a liquid and the label analysis for  Nature’s Source fertilizer is a percentage based on volume

When a volume-to-weight conversion is done, the Nitrogen in Nature’s Source is 20%.

Here’s an example of the math:

Nature’s Source 10-4-3 or 10-4-5

 • 5 liquid gallons = 50 lbs. • 10% Nitrogen provides 5 lbs. of Nitrogen

Water-soluble 20-10-20

 • One bag = 25 lbs. • 20% Nitrogen • Provides 5 lbs. of N

When looking at the Phosphorous (P) and the Potassium (K), the Enhanced Nutrient Use Efficiency provided by the seed extract base makes it easier for plants to take in the nutrients; so less is required at the front end.  

This simpler uptake is partly because of the lower salt content of Nature’s Source. Decreased salt stress allows the nutrients to be stored more efficiently and released more easily as needed.

The next time you are looking for an excellent fertilizer that is a general duty warrior, one that will cover all the bases, choose Nature’s Source.

This blog was written in partnership with Nature’s Source Plant Fertilizer. I was so excited when approached to work with Nature’s Source as I have always loved their products!

©Sharon Wallish Murphy ©Gardening with Sharon

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