Natural Fertilizer: common misconceptions
When thinking about making the switch to organic growing, it can be beneficial to know more about what natural fertilizer is and what it is not.
This article will discuss:
- what natural fertilizers is
- whether it is necessarily better than synthetic fertilizers
- what the difference between natural and chemical fertilizer means practically
Natural fertilizer is added to the soil or made available to crops in order to provide them with the nutrients they need for growing and blooming. In other words, a natural fertilizer serves the same purpose as chemical fertilizers. The difference between the two is their origin. Chemical fertilizers are synthesised where natural fertilizers have an organic origin. Meaning they are made up out of plant or animal products. The term ‘organic’ here does not mean the same as when it is used colloquially to mean “green” or ‘biological’ when we speak about food for example. It simply means the product is of organic origin, it is found in nature naturally and has not been synthesised.
Natural fertilizer is automatically better, greener & more ethical
There are various reasons why using natural fertilizer might be better for the environment than the use of synthesised fertilizer. However, this is not what is meant when the terms organic or natural are used. This is simply a way to indicate the origins of the product and tells us nothing about whether the product was sustainably and ethically sourced. It is therefore also important that you check that you buy your natural fertilizer from a reputable seller. All products from Bac, mineral or organic, take into account potential negative consequences to the environment and avoid them, even benefiting your soil, when used correctly and as intended. If you are looking for a sustainable, environmentally friendly and responsibly sourced organic fertilizer we recommend our organic fertilizers. We also have a line of products that is exclusively vegan and completely plant-based so you can be sure that no animals were hurt in the process.
There is no difference between a mineral & natural fertilizer
Yes and no. It is fair to say that “Nitrogen” is “Nitrogen” whether it is synthetic or organic. However, what matters is how the fertilizer interacts with the soil and how fast crops are able to take it up - there is a clear difference there. The comparison that states that chemical fertilizer for plants is what steroids are for humans illustrates this well. Chemical fertilizers can make nutrients directly available to plants leading to quick growth and improvements in a short period, but overuse and long term use can have negative consequences, as it can deplete the soil. It is also easier to overfeed and burn crops when using chemical fertilizer. This practical difference is important. Read more about organic fertilizer here. Below is a list of what these differences will mean to your growing practices more practically.
Natural Fertilizer vs Chemical fertilizer
- Nutrients take longer to reach crops when using natural fertilizer than with mineral fertilizers
- Organic fertilizers naturally contain more trace elements and micronutrients
- Natural fertilizers are more efficient and have a lower risk of leaching
- Chemical fertilizers are easier to dose as it is easier to predict how much plants will take-up
- Natural fertilizers are beneficial to and improve soil quality in the long run