Plant macronutrients are used in larger quantities than plant micronutrients in the home garden and out in nature. Most fertilizers are now chemically synthesized to meet the demands of the industry. While chemical or inorganic fertilizers will meet the needs of most plants in the garden or on the farm, organic fertilizers will also contain some micronutrients that will be available for use by plants over a period of time.
Compound fertilizer is what most people think of when speaking about garden fertilizer. These are pellets that typically contain a combination of Nitrogen, Phosphate and Potash, or N:P:K. The levels of N:P:K are clearly printed on packaging to help consumers choose which fertilizer they need to purchase.
While most organic fertilizers do contain macronutrients, most are low in N:P:K compared to commercial fertilizer. But one thing that commercial fertilizers do not provide is the return of organic materials to the soil to help improve soil organic matter. Some common examples of organic material used to improve soil organic matter are compost and leaf mold. Incorporating organic materials and improving the soil structure of your garden are just as important as feeding your plants.