Organic gardening uses soil enhancements that really work, avoiding the use of chemical fertilizers which poison the environment. Inorganic fertilizers have a salt base, which causes imbalance in the pH of most soils. These fertilizers are causing a toxic buildup of nitrates and drinking water, wreaking havoc in streams, lakes, and even the oceans. Farmers are now aware of the problem and are looking to alternative methods and products, and we home gardeners should be doing the same. Chemical fertilizers also destroy the beneficial microorganisms in the soil.
A good application of organic mulch and a little compost worked into the top few inches of the soil should take care of the nutrients your plants require and therefore reduce the need for fertilizers. In fact, many native plants dislike chemical fertilizers and grow better without fertilizers of any kind. If you decide your plants need fertilizing, one application of an organic fertilizer to the soil before the growing season begins should be sufficient.