The best fertilizer for your garden varies, depending on the types of plants and your stance on cost and environmental impact. Organic fertilizer vs. inorganic is mainly a question of nutrient needs. Both organic and inorganic fertilizers provide the necessary nutrients for growth, but where inorganic fertilizers deliver a rapid dose of nutrients, organic moves slower, more naturally and healthily.
ORGANIC FERTILIZER VS. INORGANIC: COMPOSITION
Fertilizers, no matter the kind, provide your plants with the macronutrients they need that might be in short supply in your soil. Organic and inorganic fertilizers deliver these nutrients in different ways. Organic fertilizers are natural, in that the nutrients they possess are strictly comprised of plant- or animal-based materials. Either byproducts or end products of natural processes. Cow manure, decaying leaves, and food compost are all forms of organic fertilizer.
Inorganic fertilizer is synthetic, comprised of minerals and synthetic chemicals. Inorganic nitrogen is commonly made from petroleum. Most of the minerals in inorganic fertilizer are mined from the earth, and balanced inorganic fertilizers are high in all three macronutrients and can contain ammonium sulfate, magnesium sulfate, and potassium chloride.
ORGANIC FERTILIZER NUTRIENTS
Organic fertilizers release nutrients as they break down, improving the soil and its ability to hold water and nutrients. Given time, they make your soil and plants healthier and hardier. Organic fertilizers carry little risk of a toxic overdose of chemicals, but they require a breakdown of microorganisms to release nutrients, limiting their seasonal effectiveness and potentially increasing the amount of time they take to feed your plants.
INORGANIC FERTILIZER NUTRIENTS
Inorganic fertilizers are a fast dose of nutrients, feeding your plants how you want and when you want. They are fully artificial and manufactured in exact doses. Their nutrient ratios are clearly printed on the bag, and there is an inorganic fertilizer to meet your plant’s specific needs. Even though they are an almost perfect food source for your plants, they provide nothing for the soil, limiting their effectiveness in the long-term. There is also the very real risk of a toxic overdose of chemicals that leach arsenic, cadmium, and uranium into the soil, potentially affecting any growing fruits or vegetables.
ORGANIC FERTILIZER VS. INORGANIC: ENVIRONMENT
The question of organic fertilizer vs. inorganic is largely affected by their individual environmental impacts. Organic fertilizers are an environmentally sound investment in your soil and plant’s future. They are created from the byproducts or end products of naturally occurring processes, which means they come directly from nature itself. Even though they take longer to work, and the exact ratio of nutrients is indeterminable, organic fertilizers provide a healthy food source for your plants and protect your little part of the environment.
Inorganic fertilizers are perfectly measured out shots of nutrients exactly when you need them most but at significant cost. They can easily upset the entire ecosystem, create a toxic buildup of chemicals, and long-term use changes the pH of the soil, increases a pest problem, and releases greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gases are raising the temperature of the Earth, causing climate change.
ORGANIC FERTILIZER VS. INORGANIC: THE END RESULT
While the decision is ultimately yours, there is a lot to consider carefully with organic fertilizer vs. inorganic.
- Do the positives of inorganic fertilizer outweigh the negative?
- Do the disadvantages of organic fertilizer diminish the advantages?
Your plant’s needs are a large factor that shouldn’t be ignored. If they need food fast, inorganic might be the way to go. If you’re more interested in a long-term solution to nutrients, you’ll probably prefer organic. In bag form, organic fertilizer is significantly more expensive than inorganic, but there are cheaper alternatives to bags. And the environmental factor is important to consider. If you want healthier plants, a healthier you, and a healthier environment, organic is your best bet.
ORGANIC FERTILIZER VS. INORGANIC: ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY LAWN CARE
If you’re interested in environmentally friendly lawn care, switching from your current traditional commercial lawn care company to a full-service company like Mowbot is a perfect option. Traditional companies use gas-based cars and equipment and create cross-contamination situations. If you’re strictly using organic fertilizers, your neighbor might not, and a lawn mower that serviced your neighbor carries those contaminants on its wheels and blades. Mowbot uses a robotic mower that lives and stays in your yard. The Robot Wranglers only used battery-powered cars and equipment, and the threat of noxious fumes and contamination is eliminated.