If you ask your lawn care professional whether they prefer organic or chemical fertilizer, chances are you’ll hear a variety of responses. If you could ask your lawn the same question, you’d find out that at the most basic level, it can’t tell the difference between organic fertilizers and chemical fertilizers – nutrients are nutrients. However, when it comes to the soil health there are major differences between organic and chemical fertilizers.
Professional lawn care companies describe their products as organic, natural, inorganic, chemical, synthetic, artificial, organic based, and manufactured. But what do these mean for you as the consumer? We are going to reduce these terms to reveal whether they are organic fertilizers or synthetic fertilizers.
If you see the term organic fertilizers, or sometimes referred to as natural fertilizers, this means that the end product is minimally processed and the nutrients remain in their natural forms. The raw materials need to be decomposed by microbial activity prior to the nutrients being converted into a form that plants can uptake.In the case of lawn fertilizers, organic does not refer to the same standards of processing associated with food.
Organic fertilizer is typically derived from plant or animal waste. Examples include: corn gluten meal, bone meal, sugar beet molasses, or animal manure. Organo-Lawn prefers to use plant-based products instead of manure based organic fertilizers because plant-based products are more consistent than animal-waste fertilizers.
Chemical fertilizers, otherwise called inorganic, synthetic, artificial, organic based, or manufactured fertilizers, have been refined to extract nutrients and bind them in specific ratios with chemical fillers. These products are often derived from petroleum products, rocks, or other sources. The nutrients in chemical fertilizers are refined to their purest state and stripped of substances that control their availability to breakdown.Therefore, the nutrients in chemical fertilizers are typically readily available for uptake by the plant without the need for microbial activity in the soil.
When comparing the differences between organic fertilizers and chemical fertilizers, it is clear that as long as the goal of the fertilizer applications are for the long-term health of the plant and soil, then the organic fertilizer is more effective and sustainable than synthetic fertilizers.
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