Chemical fertilizers give plants three macro-nutrients: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Despite providing a critical supply of growth-promoting nutrients, chemical fertilizer products don’t include secondary nutrients such as magnesium, sulfur, and calcium. They also don’t have trace nutrients like iron and zinc.
Unlike traditional chemical fertilizers, organic fertilizers contain all of these nutrients and more. They slowly release nutrients into soil, facilitating better soil aeration, moisture, and texture. Over time, organic fertilizers dramatically improve the quality of soil in your yard.
If this hasn’t convinced you to start getting your lawn organically fertilized, we’ve outlined four reasons why you should consider it.
1.) It Increases the Amount of Organic Matter in Your Yard
Examples of organic fertilizer include manure, greensand, lime, and rock phosphate. When you apply these organic fertilizers to your lawn and garden, it slowly releases complex nutrients–primary, secondary, and trace nutrients–into the soil.
The gradual pace of the organic fertilizer’s nutrient release allows the soil to absorb and retain all of the nutrients. Because of this nutrient infusion, the soil quality improves.
Eventually, you may find that you no longer need to fertilize your lawn and garden because the soil in them has retained nutrients from previous years of organic fertilization. Therefore, organic fertilization represents a great long-term investment in your property.
2.) Earthworms Thrive in Organically Fertilized Soil
Earthworms are nature’s little compost-making machines. They graze on organic matter within soil and produce excrement rich in potassium, nitrogen, and phosphates. Their consumption and subsequent excretion of organic matter essentially turns soil into humus, making it ideal for plant growth.
As earthworms burrow through soil, they build a soil structure that enables both drainage and aeration. Without this structure-building, your lawn’s soil becomes too dense for optimal plant growth.
Unfortunately, chemical-rich fertilizers can be fatal to earthworms, preventing one of the most natural methods of soil improvement from happening.
3.) It Recycles Organic Wastes Instead of Sending it to the Landfill
Organic fertilizer ingredients can include animal and plant matter. Most people are familiar with organic fertilizers derived from animal waste, such as cow, pig, horse, and chicken manure.
Less common animal-based fertilizers, like bat guano and fish meal, are gaining popularity. Popular organic fertilizers with plant-based ingredients include kelp, bone meal, wood ash, potassium sulfate, and alfalfa.
Almost all of these ingredients, if they weren’t converted to organic fertilizer, would be considered waste material. Instead of being reused, they’d end up in a landfill.
4.) Few Chemicals in Your Soil Means Fewer Chemicals in Your Garden
Chemical fertilizers effectively grow plants quickly and, often, kill weeds, too. They have a very high concentration of nitrogen, a crucial nutrient for plants. However, this high concentration of nitrogen isn’t always beneficial.
When you apply chemical fertilizer to your lawn and garden, it gives your soil a quick dose of nutrients. But, unlike organic fertilizers that release nutrients slowly, chemical fertilizers drain much of their nutrients into aquifers.
Nitrogen then enters your groundwater, which can cause a low-grade contamination. The leached nitrogen also can upset the balance of nutrients in your soil.
As you continue to grow vegetables, herbs, and fruit in your garden, your plants will absorb the chemicals from the fertilizer. Large amounts of these chemicals can be harmful to human health. If you do continue to use chemical fertilizer in your garden, use it sparingly and get your soil tested annually to make sure you’re consuming healthy amounts of these chemicals.
Organic fertilization is a great way to improve the soil quality of your garden and your lawn. Contact a Chem-Wise Pest Management for your pest control and lawn fertilization, to start a thorough organic fertilization program this spring.