Gardening tips

Organic Fertilizers


Organic fertilizers are good for plants in many ways. They are certainly better than chemical ones which can have many ill effects on plants and the animals and humans who eat those plants as food. More and more people are rightly turning towards organic farming nowadays. As we are becoming more aware of the harmful effects caused by all the chemical fertilizers and other toxic materials we add to the soil, organic fertilizers are gaining more popularity. Organic fertilizers are natural, environmentally friendly and economical too. Let’s learn more about them.

What are organic fertilizers?

Organic fertilizers are those fertilizers which are made by naturally occurring substances or organic matter. They can be formed both by plant or animal matter. Organic fertilizers are made only of natural substances and no form of synthetic or chemical substances or additives are present in them. This makes them extremely safe. Organic fertilizers can either be purchased or prepared in your home garden.

How are organic fertilizers made?

Organic fertilizers can be made of many different substances coming from plant, animal or mineral sources. They can contain substances such as animal manure like cow dung, plant remains, dry leaves, grass clippings, kitchen waste such as peels and parts of vegetables and fruits, etc. Essentially, anything that is natural and that can get decomposed can be used to make organic fertilizers.

How are organic fertilizers used by plants?

Organic fertilizers are used to feed plants with nutritional elements essential for their growth such as nitrogen, sulfur, phosphorus, etc. You can use a particular type of organic fertilizer containing specific nutrients, depending upon the requirements of your plants. Organic fertilizers take time to prepare and are slow acting on plants. They are not quick fixes like the artificially made fertilizers. Since they are formed by decomposition of organic matter by
the action of microbes, they need sufficient time for this process to complete. Also, the fertilizer needs time to break down by micro-organisms and the nutrients to be absorbed by plants. Generally speaking, half of the ingredients of the organic fertilizer added to the soil get utilized by plants in the first year. The rest of the fertilizer is then slowly released and consumed by the plants in coming years. Organic fertilizer not only feeds the plant over a longer period of time but also slowly conditions the soil.

What are the benefits of organic fertilizers?

Organic fertilizers have many benefits over the chemical fertilizers. Following are a few of them:

  • The food items we get from plants grown on organic fertilizers are non-toxic as they do not contain any harmful chemicals in them.
  • These fertilizers do not need any large fertilizer plants for manufacturing as they can be easily prepared on the farm or garden itself. This makes them economical.
  • Since these fertilizers improve the overall quality of the soil, the soil goes on becoming more fertile and remains so for years. This reduces the cost of further fertilizing of the soil considerably.
  • These fertilizers are bio-degradable and do not pollute the environment unlike chemical fertilizers.
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