With inorganic, or synthetic, garden fertilizers so plentiful and inexpensive, it might make a gardener wonder if it’s really all that important to use organic products instead. After all, it’s all about what works right now and makes the garden beautiful, right? Well…yes and no. In organic gardening, the overall health of the soil and plants is the main concern, so while synthetic chemical fertilizers may do a job today, organic fertilizers ensure the health of the garden tomorrow.
- Organic fertilizers work slowly. In order for organic fertilizers to work, the soil has to first break them down. This means that both the soil and the plants in it get the nutrition they need when they need it. Synthetic fertilizers, although speedy, often overfeed the plant, do nothing for the soil, and can damage plants by burning them.
- Organic fertilizers improve the soil. Organic materials and fertilizers improve the soil texture, allowing it to hold water longer, and increase the bacterial and fungal activity in the soil. So, they not only assist your plants, they help the soil. Synthetic fertilizers, on the other hand, deplete the soil of its nutrients, making it unproductive. Good luck growing those juicy tomatoes in unproductive soil!
- Organic fertilizers are safe. Although you won’t want to eat or drink them (fish emulsion tea is none too tempting), you can rest assured that organic fertilizers are safe for the environment, your family, and your pets. Synthetic fertilizers require a significant amount of fossil fuels to produce and process and often runoff into nearby water sources like streams and lakes.
- Organic fertilizers are easy to apply. Organics are just as easy to apply as their synthetic, non-organic counterparts. Adding them to soil or spraying them on leaves — however you use them, they add countless benefits to your garden while providing the same amount of convenience and ease as chemical fertilizers.