The functionality of healthy soil is contingent on a broad selection of naturally occurring components. And the use of organic fertilizers on soil helps it to retain vitality and nutrients for a long period, as the living organism thriving in it provides for the enrichments the soil continuously requires.
Natural or organic fertilizers contain animal-based substances such as composted organic materials or animal manures. And these substances help to flourish living organisms, such as fungi, bacteria, insects, and worms.
In most cases, organisms that live in the soil can speed up the process of organic fertilizer decomposition, which is necessary before plants can reap the benefits of using the fertilizer.
Depending on the kind of plant, there are many different methods by which the plant may absorb nutrients. In addition, the resistance of plants to diseases such as bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens is improved by using organic fertilizers, which help sustain plant growth.
There are disadvantages associated with using organic fertilizers in various types of gardening. This is because the natural components of plant and animal sources, which often have an unpleasant and pungent smell to them, cause this factor.
The factors that make organic fertilizers so beneficial are also the factors that make them so problematic. The slow release of nutrients into the soil makes it more difficult for plants to take up the nutrients in organic fertilizer. This, in turn, reduces crop yields. If you have an immediate need for nutrients, you may want to look into liquid fertilizers for foliar treatments.
Moreover, knowing everything about fertilizers helps you better understand how to take care of your plant’s health and growth so that you can use the right amount of fertilizer at the right time.
Pros and Cons of Organic Fertilizer
The following are some of the advantages and disadvantages of using organic fertilizer.
Advantages of Using Organic Fertilizers in Your Garden
The preparation of organic fertilizer often involves the use of plant or animal waste and powdered minerals. Examples of these factors include animal manure and compost and bone meal, and cottonseed meal. Because it is impossible to guarantee the correct proportions of nutrients in fertilizer, soil conditioners are often recommended instead.
The production of organic fertilizers, such as manure and compost, may occur either on a farm or in a factory. Manure is often produced on farms.
When utilizing organic fertilizers, which are often slow-release substances, it is not as important to fertilize at the proper time as with synthetic fertilizers. As soon as the soil can be worked, the garden beds need to have some fertilizer added to them in the spring.
It is recommended that high-yielding plants, such as vegetables, get an application of organic fertilizer once every single month. The following are the advantages of using an organic fertilizer.
1. Significantly Improves the Overall Soil Composition
The structure of the soil is improved by organic fertilizer, which in turn increases the soil’s ability to hold onto water and nutrients. Organic fertilizer also includes organic materials.
2. A Healthy Microbiome
Synthetic fertilizer is a kind of fertilizer that is manufactured from chemical compounds that do not include carbon atoms anywhere in their structure. Because microbes cannot reach certain chemicals, they may cause problems in certain circumstances.
On the other hand, organic fertilizer is abundant inorganic elements, encouraging the expansion of bacteria and other microorganisms. The presence of carbon in the chemical components of organic fertilizer contributes to its high-efficiency level.
Microorganisms in the soil consume this carbon, and further, as part of a natural process, it produces nutrients that plants may use.
3. It is Environmentally Friendly and Has Long-Lasting Impact
When synthetic fertilizers leak into our rivers, it poses a threat to aquatic life and the purity of the water. Organic fertilizers are related to the structure of the soil. Therefore they do not wash away as rapidly as synthetic fertilizers.
The Organic Trade Association reports that the use of organic fertilizer increases species variety by thirty percent more than synthetic fertilizer. If you use organic fertilizers, you won’t have to worry about polluting the surrounding area as you would if you used synthetic ones.
In addition to being harmless to the environment, ecological, and renewing, biodegradable organic fertilizers have these qualities.
4. Reduce the Use of Pesticides and Fertilizers
Although organic fertilizer is more costly than synthetic fertilizer, there is a possibility that its application will result in less demand for pesticides as well as total nitrogen, phosphate, and potassium. The recent price reductions have made organic fertilizer an option that might sometimes be more financially beneficial.
5. The Risk of Plant Damage is Minimized
Certain synthetic fertilizers have the potential to cause damage to plants, namely to the leaves and roots of the plants, but not in all cases, there are still some advantages of synthetic fertilizers which certain plants enjoy. When using organic fertilizer, the likelihood of damages caused by synthetic fertilizers is reduced. This is because organic fertilizers are composed of materials capable of biodegradation, meaning that they do not generate harmful compounds or salts that might be fatal to plants.
6. Nutrients are Slowly Released
The nutrients contained in organic fertilizers are gradually released into the ground they are applied to. In the case of synthetic fertilizers, fertilizer burns result from the rapid release of nutrients. However, with organic fertilizer, the plants get all of the nutrients they need to grow because the fertilizers are introduced to the soil in a slow and steady stream. This prevents the plants from being stressed or over-fertilized.
Disadvantages of Using Organic Fertilizers
The use of organic fertilizer comes with a number of potential drawbacks, the most significant of which is the chance that it is deficient in fundamental nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (NPK). The fertilizers made from manure are still considered organic, although they include these elements.
However, there are a large number of others that do not contain appreciable quantities of NPK ratio of fertilizers. They are essential vitamins for the soil. It is possible to get some benefit from the use of organic manure provided they are applied correctly and the required conditions are present. The following are some potential downsides of organics:
1. The Product Quality Varies
There are differences among organic products, and some of them provide a range of results. Examine the results of any university research or case studies that have been conducted on the product you are considering purchasing to confirm that it has received validation from the market sector.
2. Have a Low Nutrient Density
In many cases, the nutritional value of organic fertilizer is rather low. If you use organic fertilizer, you shouldn’t anticipate the same brilliant color as you would receive if you used chemical fertilizer. This is because chemical fertilizer contains more nutrients. The application of organic fertilizer is not a one-time event but rather a process that takes place over time.
3. Making Compost at Home is a Challenging Task
It is possible to make your compost at home. However, the process is complicated, messy, and with the possibility of making mistakes, which may result in inconsistent end products. When you use organic fertilizer, you are relying on helpful soil bacteria or the microorganisms included inside the fertilizer itself to transform nitrogen into a form that the plants can utilize as food. The results will come in the end, but it’s possible that you won’t get them as quickly as you’d want.
4. Effectiveness Only to a Certain Degree
Microorganisms in the soil are responsible for breaking down organic fertilizers over time, enabling the nutrients to be made available in the soil when required. Warmth and wetness are essential for the bacteria that decompose organic fertilizers in order for them to operate correctly.
The decomposition of organic fertilizer will be slowed down, and its advantages will be limited if the soil is either too cold or too moist. The energy released during the decomposition of plants and animals is, fortunately, sufficient for these bacteria to carry out their functions.
5. Slow Results
It is necessary for organic fertilizers to break down in the ground before one can experience the advantages of using them. It is not unusual to see results a few months after the original attempt, which did not succeed, has been made. As a consequence, do not expect instant results; you must be patient.
6. Expensive When Compared to Synthetic Fertilizers
Because of the special handling required, organic fertilizer does, in fact, come at a higher price than chemical fertilizer does. If you want to make organic fertilizer yourself, you can use your own compost or find a source that offers organic fertilizers for a much lower price. Either way, you have the option to make it.
The benefits and drawbacks of organic fertilizer should help you, as a gardener or as someone who may use organic fertilizer in the future, make an educated choice on whether or not to use organic fertilizer.
The purchase of organic fertilizer comes with the drawback of being more expensive than conventional fertilizer and giving a lesser immediate benefit to the plants and soil in your garden. If you have the time to wait for organic fertilizer to be effective, it is definitely the way to go.
It will be beneficial to the process of bringing your soil back to its healthiest possible form. Even if it takes a little bit longer in the end, all of your hard work will have been well worth it.