Updated: Jun 9, 2022
Ever had a dilemma deciding whether to get the brightly coloured synthetic fertiliser or the earthy-looking organic fertiliser between the aisles of your garden center? If you said yes, you are not the only one. Our previous article gave you insights on the different types of fertiliser, and today let’s dive in on how organic fertiliser can support the cultivation of your home garden and keep them growing healthy and happy.
What is an Organic Fertiliser?
Image Credit: Pennington
To recap, Organic fertilisers are natural and healthy for the soil. They provide nutrients that plants need to grow, and they also help to control pests. They are made from natural substances, such as animal manure, plant materials, composts, and seaweed extracts. Organic fertiliser provides plants with slow-release nutrients — this means that the soil is constantly being fed with the right amount of nutrients for long periods.
How is Organic Fertiliser helpful to my plants?
1. Organic fertiliser improves soil structure
Soil structure is improved due to the organic matter in organic fertiliser, and the soil's ability to hold water and nutrients rises. Organic matter generally such as worm castings enables the soil to cluster and agglomerate, improving soil structure. Water infiltration through the soil increases with better soil structure, enhancing the soil's capacity to absorb and hold water.
It improves the chemical and biological properties of the soil where the bacterial and fungal activity in the soil rises as the soil structure is also enhanced. As a result, they benefit both your plants and the soil. On the other hand, synthetic fertilisers deplete the soil's nutrients and render it useless.
2. Reduces the need for pesticides
Organic fertiliser is more expensive than synthetic fertiliser. Still, it can reduce pesticide use and overall nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium requirements. Organic fertiliser can be cost neutral or even cost-saving due to the reductions. Different components interact in the soil to impact the health of the plants that grow there. Soil fertility is determined by organic matter, specifically humus.
Humus is created by microorganisms that reside in the soil and help the plant absorb carbon while protecting it from illnesses and providing it with the water and nutrients it requires. Biol, an organic fertiliser created by biodigesters, comprises live microorganisms that assist the soil in replenishing humus and plants and protecting them from diseases and pests, hence reducing the need for pesticides.
3. Organic fertilisers are environmentally friendly and long-lasting
Synthetic fertilisers pollute our rivers, endangering marine life and degrading water quality. Organic fertilisers are less likely to run off (if at all). Organic fertilisers produce a healthy growing environment over time, while artificial fertilisers provide immediate nutrition making them less sustainable. They are free of acids and hazardous compounds.
They are made out of manure or bioproducts that are beneficial to plants and environmentally friendly. When nitrogen fertilisers are applied, they break down into nitrates. Although nitrates are required for plant growth, an excess will seep into groundwater resources, contaminating hundreds of miles of distant sources. Nitrogen is common because it oozes through the soil more rapidly. In numerous research, chemical fertilisers have severe effects on our environment and health.
4. They are slowly released
Organic fertilisers release nutrients gradually, making them available to the crop during cultivation. This ensures a long-lasting and high-efficiency effect. Slow-release fertilisers, such as organic fertilisers, offer nutrients in smaller amounts over a more extended period. The three primary macronutrients required for plant growth are nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K).
Plants develop more uniformly because slow-release fertilisers release nutrients at a slower rate. As a result, the plants' root systems will become more robust, and they will be less stressed, making them better equipped to withstand disease and pest attacks. Slow-release fertilisers provide a little, consistent quantity of nutrients over time. It can be natural, organic fertilisers that break down and decompose naturally, adding nutrients to the soil.
5. Organic fertilisers are simple to use
They can be applied manually or mechanically using standard equipment. This also reduces mineral washout and enhances growth during the growing seasons. They're simple to use and apply; mix them in with your soil or spray them on the leaves for tomatoes and vegetables. Organic fertilisers provide your plants and garden with all the nutrients they need, regardless of how you use them.
Image Credit: Pennington
There are many benefits to using organic fertiliser on your lawn or garden. Organic fertiliser is a better option than synthetic fertilisers because it is not harmful to the environment. It also gives plants the nutrients they need without adding too many chemicals. When using organic fertiliser, it is essential to use enough of it to get the desired effect. It should be applied in small amounts and then watered in well.