|Tuesday Tools & Products: Organic Fertilizers|
|Written by Heleigh Bostwick Tuesday, 24 April 2012|
Wondering what the difference is between a regular fertilizer and an organic one? You're not alone. Fertilizers can be confusing. The purpose of all fertilizers is the same, to provide additional nutrients to the plants. Contrary to popular belief, the plants really don't care which fertilizer you use-commercial or organic.
Commercial fertilizers are typically made from synthetic ingredients whereas organic fertilizers are made from natural ingredients like bat guano or bone meal. The primary difference between the two however, lies in how they affect the ecosystem or natural environment. All fertilizer products by law must be labeled with the percentage of nutrients, typically nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium or potash (referred to as NPK).
Commercial fertilizers use what's called "quick release" to provide a rapid dose of nutrients (mostly nitrogen) for plants to use. However, most plants do not use all of the nutrients, and whatever isn't used generally makes its way into nearby streams or into the ground water. Organic fertilizers are "slow release", which means nutrients are released over a period of time. As they decompose they also add organic material to the soil.