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Organic Fertilizer Benefits

There are several organic fertilizer benefits, some purely altruistic, others much more self-interested.

There are several organic fertilizer benefits, some purely altruistic, others much more self-interested. First of all, most inorganic fertilizers provide only that well-known trio, nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). These three, known as the macro-nutrients, are indeed required in greater quantity than any others, but they are only three of the thirteen nutrients plants need. The three chemicals that qualify as secondary nutrients, calcium, sulfur, and magnesium are generally ignored, as are the trace nutrients, boron, chlorine, manganese, iron, zinc, copper, and molybdenum. While these are needed in far smaller quantities than the macro-nutrients, they are still essential.

Planet Natural carries a large variety of natural and organic fertilizers designed to encourage growth, blooms and bountiful harvests. Give them a try… your gardens will perform beyond your highest expectations!

This might not matter if plants could just get these other nutrients from the soil, and this is indeed what usually happens. But over time, and in several ways, chemical fertilizers can interfere with plants’ ability to take up nutrients.

For one thing, pure chemicals can be hard on the earthworms and micro-organisms in the soil that keep it alive and working, thus making nutrients available to plants. Earthworms not only provide perhaps the best compost available, but they also help aerate soil when they tunnel through it. Without them, soil becomes increasingly compacted, unless deeply cultivated — which is also bad for them and for soil structure. Without the beneficial effects of worms and micro-organisms, plants have a harder time accessing the secondary and micro-nutrients not found in most chemical fertilizers.

Organic fertilizers, far from being purified and simplified chemicals, are complex compounds that add numerous secondary and micro-nutrients beyond the one or two for which they are best known. Organics such as manures, powdered rocks (such as lime, rock phosphate, and greensand), blood meal, bone meal, wood ash and compost all contain important micronutrients, and their texture will improve soil quality rather than degrading it.

It would be stretching things to pretend that organic fertilizers cannot damage plants or the environment. Sprinkle blood meal directly on your basil, and watch the leaves turn black next time the sun comes out. On a larger and more relevant scale, manure runoff can and does cause algae blooms and can make water unfit to drink. Production of rock fertilizers — gypsum, greensand, lime and the rest — involves mining and milling, which in turn require fossil fuels. However, the ecological damage done by producing organics, either at present or potentially, does not approach that done by synthetics.

Organics, then,

  • contain important secondary and trace nutrients;
  • improve soil texture, aeration, and drainage;
  • provide slow-release nutrition;
  • aid the environment in many ways and harm it in few.
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