Whether we are farmers or not, we all know that the success of any plant relies on how it is cared for. Providing the plant with the right amount of water and sun is a good start, however the difference between someone who really knows what plants requires and someone one who just has basic knowledge on how plants grow lies in the fertilizer.
When referring to fertilizers, the term organic generally means that the product has been minimally processed and therefore the nutrients are still bound up in their natural states instead of being extracted and refined. The term is also used to mean that the nutrients contained in the fertilizer are by-products of an organism or purely derived from an organism. Sewage sludge, fish emulsion, blood meal. Cottonseed meal and manure are some examples of organic fertilizers.
Organic fertilizer are normally sold as “soil conditioners” and not fertilizer due to their nutrient ratios being hard to specify. Organic fertilizers can be processed at a farm as a compost or manure or in a factory.
Pros of Organic Fertilizer
1. Apart from releasing nutrients, when organic fertilizers decompose, they improve soil structure increasing the soil’s ability to retain nutrients and water which eventually will make plants and soil strong and healthy.
2. Since organic fertilizers are slow-release, it is rare to over fertilize and harm the plants
3. The chances of toxins, salts, and chemicals building up in the soil are hardly there, therefore, your plants will be safe.
4. Organic fertilizers are biodegradable, renewable, environmentally friendly and also sustainable.
5. Even though they are a bit expensive in packing as compared to other forms of fertilizers, one can easily come up with his/her won composting or opt for inexpensive sources.
Cons of Organic Fertilizer
1. For organic manure to break down and nutrients are released into the soil, microorganisms are required. And because these microorganisms need moisture and warmth to carry out this process, organic fertilizers get limited seasonally. However, the good news is, the decaying matter in the organic manure itself will provide energy.
2. Organic manure decomposes naturally as nature wishes and hence they might not release nutrients as soon as needed. One has to be patient as improvement won’t be realized overnight. In fact, the plants may show signs of nutrients deficiency in the first months of the application as breakdown hasn’t picked up yet.
3. Nutrient ratios are unknown and their overall percentage is less than that of chemical fertilizers.
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Master's Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years.