Synthetic vs Natural Fertilizers
What is Organic or Natural fertilizer?
Organic or Natural fertilizers derived from natural sources and do not include any form of chemicals. This type of fertilizer is usually sourced from the feces or droppings of animals, such as chicken manure and cow manure. On the other side of the spectrum, synthetic fertilizers are usually sourced from the petroleum industry which shows rapid but short-lived results. We will explore and explain the differences between natural and synthetic fertilizers further below.
Why use synthetic fertilizers?
Synthetic fertilizers are usually cheaper and faster than natural fertilizers. They are usually water soluble which allows the plants to absorb the nutrients quicker. Some synthetic fertilizers even have pesticides built in them to prevent unwanted bugs and insects from chomping on your beautiful plants. However, they are also known to cause harm to the plants’ environment, causing the results to be seen only in the short run.
Although synthetic fertilizers bring nutrients to the plants, they usually do little to enrich the surrounding soil. This causes the plants to rely only on the fertilizers for nutrients which requires more frequent applications of the fertilizer. Don’t apply them too frequently though as an over application of chemical fertilizers would cause ‘chemical burns’ and your plants may start to turn yellow or brown instead of the beautiful green you’re looking for.
Synthetic fertilizers also cause the soil fertility to deteriorate much quicker as chemicals are added to the plants’ surroundings. Using them too often would bring long term damage to your soil, causing problems in the future. They also cause damage to the soil by killing the beneficial microorganisms living in the soil.
Why use natural fertilizers?
Natural fertilizers tend to have longer lasting results but may require longer time to take effect. Persistence and patience are one the key characteristics to a beautiful garden as good things comes to those who wait. Using natural fertilizers ensures that not only are your plants growing beautifully, but more importantly, healthily. Natural fertilizers ensure that not only does the plant receives the required nutrients, but also the surrounding soil. This allows for a safer and healthier environment for the plant to grow and nurture.
Though the NPK value of natural fertilizers are usually lower than synthetic fertilizers, they feed the plants over a longer period. This allows gardeners to reduce the frequency of application of natural fertilizers. Organically sourced fertilizers also have a more controlled release of nutrients as they are released at a rate that the plants can use, rather than bombarding the plants with nutrients. This allows for lesser leaching of excess nutrients into water which happens when using synthetic fertilizers.
Controlled release of nutrients causes controlled growth for the plants which does not over-stimulate plant growth. Naturally, this promotes a stronger and healthier defense system in the plants alongside natural insect resistance.
Remember, not only do you need to feed your plants, but also its surrounding soil and environment. Ensure that the soil is fertile, enriched with living microbes and beneficial microorganisms to nurture the plants.