Squash are a delightfully festive addition to any garden. They’re more than versatile in the kitchen. I mean, what other vegetable can be turned into spaghetti, soup, and can be grilled and eaten?
They also grow on trellises, which is how I’m planning to grow mine this summer to conserve space. Plus, they look super cool that way!
I love squash, but man can it be bitter if grown in the wrong conditions. Excessive watering or drought can cause bitterness, but so can a lack of proper nutrition.
Fertilizing your squash is the easier way to ensure that it gets the proper nutrients to grow healthy and taste delicious. With a high-quality fertilizer, you can also promote bigger harvests and stronger roots. Since the nutrients in fertilizer have a direct correlation to the taste of your squash, I compiled a list of the top 5 high-quality fertilizers for squash. Keep reading to learn more about them and choose the right product for yor garden!
In this guide, you’ll learn:
- Why you should fertilize your squash
- How to choose the right fertilizer for your squash
- How fertilizer will help to produce a delicious and abundant harvest
- And much more!
Below is a quick list of my favorite fertilizers for squash. Keep scrolling to learn more of my top tips to choose and use the best fertilizer for your squash plants.
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Jobe's Organics Vegetable&Tomato Fertilizer
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EcoScraps For Organic Gardening Tomato&Vegetable Plant Food
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Burpee Organic Bone Meal Fertilizer
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Miracle-Gro Water Soluble Vegetable&Herb Plant Food
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My Overall Top #1 Pick: Sustane 464 Fertilizer
Although I love all of these awesome fertilizers, I couldn’t help but choose Sustane Fertilizer as my number-one choice.
I love this fertilizer for so many reasons, number one being that it’s organic. It’s OMRI listed for organic use, which means it’s been tested and proven all-natural. That certification means a lot, and I wouldn’t recommend a product without being able to verify the validity of it’s organic-ness.
I also love the NPK ratio of 4-6-4. I’ll talk more about the nutrients in fertilizer later, but for now, just keep in mind the higher phosphorus (middle) number. That’s designed to promote flowering and fruiting, which is exactly what we want for our squash.
This product also improves overall soil structure, which is good for your garden in general. If you notice poor soil conditions, I definitely recommend this product. Every garden could use a little pick-me-up every once in a while. I know I’ll be using this product when I break ground on my latest garden bed this summer to help make it more habitable.
The other great thing about this product is that it improves root health. Since squash is a late-summer/early-fall crop, those little plants have the chance to encounter a lot of stormy weather. I know August in my area is rife with thunderstorms, and having strong roots can help your squash stay firmly in the ground even in the windiest weather.
I could go on and on about this product for ages, but I’ll spare you guys my rambling. If for some crazy reason, this doesn’t sound like the right product for you, don’t worry! Keep reading to learn more about some other amazing fertilizers that will be perfect for your squash. And if you’re unsure, I’ve got you covered, too—we’ll talk about how to determine the right fertilizer for your garden in just a bit.
Top 5 Best Fertilizers For Squash
In a hurry? Check out our top 5 picks below! Keep reading to learn more about these wonderful fertilizers for your squash plants.
- Sustane 464 Fertilizer (My Top Pick)
- Jobe’s Organics Vegetable&Tomato Fertilizer (Best High-End Pick)
- EcoScraps For Organic Gardening Tomato&Vegetable Plant Food (Most Environmentally-Friendly Pick)
- Burpee Organic Bone Meal Fertilizer (Best Pick For End-Of-Season Use)
- Miracle-Gro Water Soluble Vegetable&Herb Plant Food (Best Budget Pick)
Why Should You Invest In A High-Quality Fertilizer For Your Squash?
Squash are one of the most versatile vegetables to cook with. You can turn them into pasta, add them to a pasta dish, grill them, fry them, you name it! They can be bitter when not properly cared for, though. Investing in a high-quality fertilizer can prevent that tough, bitter taste.
I won’t lie to you; I used to be a squash hater. My father would gril it up in the summer and I would simply refuse to touch it. Honestly, he was lucky if it even made it onto my plate!
Then I was convinced to grow just a few plants. I grumbled and griped about it all season but I cared for them anyway, and made sure to fertilizer them like all my other vegetables even if I thought it was a waste of time and money (which I did). Lo and behold, we had a delicious squash-and-pumpkin soup that fall and my whole world seemed to change!
I firmly believe that the fertilizer I used on my squash plants changed their taste and made them far more palatable. And it’s true! The nutrients in your soil and/or fertilizer have a direct correlation with the taste and even texture of your squash.
A high-quality fertilizer will have plenty of phosphorus to promote fruiting, leading to a better harvest. I’ll get into the specifics of nutrient composition later, but right now, all you need to know is that phosphorus is the nutrient that will encourage flowering, which of course, leads to fruiting.
In fact, squash are so versatile that you don’t even need the fruit! You can just eat the flowers—sautée them, add them to salads, or even stuff and fry them. Here’s a delicious recipe that I plan on trying next season:
Now that we’re all hungry, it’s time to talk some more about how to grow delicious squash (and squash flowers).
Investing in a high-quality fertilizer, especially one that has a high phosphorus content will promote flowering. Seriously, I’m not sure my squash are ever going to make it onto the plate; I might eat the flowers instead!
Squash also love acidic soil, which you can make yourself. Where I live, that’s not a problem, because the soil is borderline-sand in some areas (seriously, my cousin’s backyard is like a giant sandpit). A lot of us don’t have that luxury, though, so a high-quality squash fertilizer usually contains some acidity.
Lastly, a high-quality squash fertilizer will be specifically formulated for vegetables, if not squash themselves. Surprisingly, there aren’t a lot of squash-specific fertilizers out there, but vegetable-centric fertilizers are still perfect for your squash.
I say vegetable-centric because those all-in-one fertilizers aren’t always the best option. Different plants have different needs, and in my opinion, no fertilizer is truly all-in-one. There’s even specially-formulated oak tree fertilizer that won’t break the bank these days, so in my opinion, there’s no reason to purchase a generic fertilizer.
Lucky for you, none of these fertilizers are generic—hooray! Keep reading to learn more about the specifics of choosing the right fertilizer for your squash to produce a mouth-watering harvest.
How to Pick the Best Fertilizer For Your Squash?
In-depth knowledge of fertilizer composition is vital for productive gardening in general, but specifically for fruits and vegetables. Like I mentioned before, the nutrients in your fertilizer have a direct correlation to the taste of your squash.
Fertilizer is composed of three main ingredients: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Any fertilizer you buy should have three numbers representing these three ingredients (they look like this: 10-10-10).
A good fertilizer for your squash will have a higher phosphorus content. For example, my top pick has a nutrient formula of 4-6-4, which is nice and gentle but still has that higher phosphorus number. Phosphorus is the nutrient that promotes fruiting, which is exactly what you want when growing squash.
There’s no need to stress over the numbers on your fertilizer, though. All three major nutrients in fertilizers are important for healthy growth. These fertilizers are just formulated a little differently, mostly with that higher phosphorus content for some extra ‘oomph.’
Any of the fertilizers in this article are great for your squash and are designed specifically for vegetables, so don’t stress about the NPK ratios on any of these products.
Organic Versus Inorganic
In my experience, organic fertilizer is almost always better than inorganic, regardless of the type of plant. I definitely try to stick to organic fertilizers when dealing with two types of plants—ones that I eat, and ones that my pet could potentially eat.
For this list, I chose the products that are objectively the best for your squash. Four out of 5 of them are organic, but that wasn’t one of the main factors I considered when choosing the products. Just so you know the differences between organic and inorganic, let’s talk specifics.
Organic fertilizers are, of course, all-natural. They’re mostly non-toxic to animals but can still cause quite the tummy ache if your dog or another furry friend gets into the bag. You should always try to keep gardening products out of your pet’s reach, but I get it, stuff happens. That’s why I recommend organic products to pet owners.
Organic fertilizers are also less likely to crust on the soil or burn your plant, but when used properly, inorganic fertilizer shouldn’t do those things, either.
The hot summer sun can react with the added chemicals in an inorganic fertilizer and burn your plant, or the fertilizer won’t release the nutrients your plant needs at the roots. Again, when used properly, you shouldn’t have any problems, but it’s just something to be aware of especially if you live in a super hot climate.
Inorganic fertilizers can cause some environmental issues when used improperly, so always be sure to use the recommended amount and do so according to the instructions on your product.
They also typically have pesticides or some kind of additive in them to keep away bugs or other critters that could harm your garden. Despite some of the other problems they can cause, this is a huge perk! I know my family has been dealing with an insect infestation in our oak trees, so we use pesticides on them to keep them healthy.
Even though most of the products on this list are organic, this is good knowledge to have and can help you make the right decision for your garden. Thanks for letting me share it with you! Now let’s get into the specific products on this list.
My Reviews of the Best Fertilizers For Squash
1. Sustane 464 Fertilizer (My Top Pick)
This fantastic fertilizer is all-natural and perfect for your squash!
It’s designed for vegetables and promotes blooming. The 4-6-4 nutrient composition promotes flowering and fruiting without being too strong.
This fertilizer also promotes ‘microbial diversity and helps to strengthen your soil. It also promotes healthy roots—yay!
It’s non-toxic and safe for pets, so if you have a nosy puppy around, this is a good option for you.
The only downside is that there’s a small amount of chicken manure in it. If that makes you really squeamish, maybe this isn’t the product for your squash!
|PROS (+)||CONS (-)|
+ Made for vegetables
+ Designed to increase crop yield
+ Good for squash of all ages
+ Improves soil structure and quality
|– Made with chicken manure|
2. Jobe’s Organics Vegetable&Tomato Fertilizer (Best High-End Pick)
I love almost all of Jobe’s products, including this vegetable&tomato granular plant food.
This product is also designed just for vegetables and the 2-5-3 nutrient composition is perfect for your squash. You already know that high phosphorus content means more fruiting!
It’s also made with Biozome, which is a healthy mix of good bacteria designed to improve soil quality and strengthen your plants’ roots. Sounds good to me!
The only downside is that, even though it is organic, it smells super good to dogs. If your furry friend gets ahold of the bag, they might be in for quite the tummyache, although it is non-toxic.
|PROS (+)||CONS (-)|
|+ Made with BioZome (healthy bacteria)|
+ Designed to produce more crops
+ Improves overall soil quality
+ Good for young plants
+ High phosphorus content
|– Smells super good to dogs|
3. EcoScraps For Organic Gardening Tomato&Vegetable Plant Food (Most Environmentally-Friendly Pick)
I love EcoScraps not only for their quality products but also for their affordable pricing. This 4lb bag of granular fertilizer comes in at about $1.97 per pound.
I also love their slogan, “doing something good with the leftovers.” EcoScraps uses leftover food waste to create their wonderful products, keeping those nutrients out of trash cans and putting them into your garden. This way your plants get high-quality, organic nutrients, and less trash goes into landfills. Win-win!
The 5-4-6 nutrient composition is gentle enough for even young squash, and since this product is organic, you don’t have to worry too much about crusting or burning.
The only downside to this product is actually the nutrient composition. The phosphorus content is pretty low, and usually we want that number to be at least equal to the nitrogen content. The higher potassium concentration helps to make up for that, but I’d still prefer to see more phosphorus in there.
|PROS (+)||CONS (-)|
|+ Good for the environment|
+ Great for young plants
+ Gentle NPK ratio
+ Made just for vegetables
|– Lower phosphorus content|
– Has a bit of a funky smell
4. Burpee Organic Bone Meal Fertilizer (Best Pick For End-Of-Season Use)
I love this organic bone meal for all of my fruits and veggies, squash included!
The high phosphorus content in this fertilizer means bigger and better squash, and the nitrogen content is high enough to ensure leafy growth without prioritizing that over fruiting. The NPK ratio is 6-8-0.
I like to use this at the end of the season for one last harvest, since it provides quick results and is designed to produce bigger fruit.
It’s also proven to strengthen your plants’ roots and promote early-season growth, which means you’ll be harvesting your squash that much faster.
The biggest downside to this product is that it smells like heaven to dogs. Keep that in mind if you have a nosy puppy around, since it could give them quite the tummyache even though it is non-toxic.
|PROS (+)||CONS (-)|
+ High phosphorus content
+ Gentle on young plants
+ Great for end-of-season growth
|– Smells really good to dogs|
– Not vegan/vegetarian
5. Miracle-Gro Water Soluble Vegetable&Herb Plant Food (Best Budget Pick)
And who would I be if I didn’t include Miracle-Gro product on this list?
Now I know the gardening community is divisive about Miracle-Gro, but their products really do work. Another perk is that, if you don’t have Amazon Prime, you can mostly likely find their products at your local garden center.
This awesome fertilizer is only $4.00 per pound, which is a steal for such a high-quality product. I definitely recommend this for gardeners on a budget.
Anyhow, this vegetable&herb plant food is great for your squash. It feeds instantly and is applied via a watering can. That means the nutrients will get to your plants’ roots even faster!
This product is super convenient to use, and I’ve personally seen great results, especially on my established plants. If your squash need a quick pick-me-up, this is a great product for them!
The only reason this fertilizer is not higher on my list is the nutrient content. It’s 18-18-21, which can be way too strong for delicate or immature plants. It’s great for established squash, but could overdose a seedling or a picky plant.
|PROS (+)||CONS (-)|
|+ Stronger nutrient composition|
+ Instant results
+ Good for established plants
+ Can be applied with a watering can
|– Could be too strong for delicate plants|
– Not organic
My Top Pick: Sustane 464 Fertilizer
In my opinion, you can’t find a better fertilizer for your squash than Sustane Fertilizer!
This wonderful fertilizer is OMRI listed for organic use, and has a wonderful nutrient composition of 4-6-4. That higher phosphorus content means more squash, and sooner, too.
It also helps to strengthen your overall soil quality, which is great if you find your earth in need of a pick-me-up. You’ll see results for at least a whole season, if not longer. It also “promotes microbial diversity” to improve the general health of your garden.
This fertilizer isn’t just good for squash—it is fantastic! In fact, it can be used on your whole garden, even as a peony fertilizer (although I have some other great products you should check out). This is because of that high phosphorus content—it promotes blooming overall.
That being said, it’s perfect for your squash, and I can’t wait to use it on my garden this year.
Final Thoughts On The Best Fertilizers For Squash
Although I’m writing this in March, I just want to fast-forward to the fall when I can make my mom’s favorite butternut-squash soup! I can’t wait for my squash harvest, and I also can’t wait to get my hands on these amazing fertilizers.
Any of the fertilizers on this list are great for your squash, and you’ll be seeing a bigger harvest in no time. I wouldn’t steer you wrong!
Fertilizing your squash will not only help to ensure a bountiful crop yield but will also improve the taste of your vegetables. High-quality fertilizers help to eliminate that bitter taste that makes you regret ever growing squash. They also help to strengthen your plant from the ground up, which means less damage during storms. I always recommend fertilizing vining plants, like clematis flowers or cucumbers.
With the right fertilizer (aka just about any of the ones on this list), you’ll be enjoying abundant harvests before you know it. I hope you guys have your recipe books out to cook up some delicious and nutritious squash!