A lot of people nowadays don’t do their own gardening – instead, they go to a local garden center or an organic fertilizer store. But how organic is it, and which is best? Here are the three most important things to consider.
Are You Organic?
If you have all of your plants regularly fertilized using organic substances, then you are probably an organically-based consumer. You are not going to be getting chemicals. You’ll know that it’s organic.
What Are Organic Fertilizers?
A lot of people think that organic fertilizer doesn’t do anything, and that’s only partially true.
Organic fertilizers are the same as synthetic ones – they’re both potash-based compounds. These contain nitrogen and phosphate. There’s a big difference between organic and synthetic – synthetic fertilizers contain substances such as diammonium phosphate (DAP) that are thought to be harmful to the environment.
There’s nothing wrong with using DAP. It can be used as a supplemental nutrient for your crops. But it’s a source of fertilizers that’s very bad for the environment. It can cause pollution, contaminates soil, and can pollute streams and oceans.
The upshot is that for people who want organic fertilizer, it’s even better to use some animal compost and not necessarily synthetic DAP. It will only cost a bit extra in price. In addition, if you’re planting vegetables, you can substitute some of your homemade compost with animal compost for your kitchen garden.
Do Not Use Seed Mix
If you use manure from a garden shed, ask yourself this question: do you really want to pay a lot of money for pest control? Or do you want to spend the extra money on organic products? The answer is obvious – you do not.
But manure is one of the oldest sources of organic fertilizers, and one of the most necessary. It’s natural. It has bound in the manure for years.
If you get organic manure from a garden shed, ask yourself: is it safe for my animal or human plants? Is it compacted? There’s a chance that it could contaminate your soil with gunk.
Second, if your manure comes from a different source, ask yourself: is it heavily composted? Is it pretty thick? If not, ask yourself what else you can do to improve the quality of your soil?
If it comes from the garden shed, do not use seed mix – also known as free fertilizer.
Are You Using “1:1” Fertilizer?
Finally, the biggest thing to ask yourself is: is my organic fertilizer any better than a typical synthetic one? It’s great that you’re organic, but if the source is suspect, you might as well use synthetic fertilizers.
Sometimes, the organic fertilizer isn’t even rated, and is just labeled as “organic.” But the benefits of organic fertilizers far outweigh the benefits of synthetic ones. For plants that you’re going to put in the ground, go for organic fertilizer. But if you’re trying to grow organic and you need synthetic in the garden, then use the synthetic.
Finally, let’s talk about fertilizer spray cans. These can be used for whatever you want – organic, or not. But I’ve heard that there’s a possibility that they can be chemical-based. Let’s say that you use “organic” fertilizer sprayed with a diluted water solution. Depending on your situation, you may be exposed to a pesticide. Maybe you have seasonal allergies.
Get Organic Fertilizer
It’s important to note that there’s no one definitive answer to this question, and many people are going to disagree with each other on this question. That’s perfectly understandable. But if you want an organic fertilizer, then get it. Go organic.