Essay On Chemical Fertilizers Vs Organic Fertilizers

Organic Fertilizers vs. Chemical Fertilizers

by TaskEasy

Fertilizing is an essential part of a thick and healthy green lawn. Our lawns are like us when it comes to needing nutrients to thrive and combat illness. So, maybe you’ve come to the conclusion that a healthy lawn is important to you, but what do you use? With so many options on the market, the answer can be hard to find. We’re going to break down the differences between organic and chemical fertilizers and weigh the pros and cons of each so that you can pick the option that’s right for your lawn and garden.

 

Organic Fertilizers

Organic fertilizers consist of material that has been minimally processed rather than being extracted and refined so that the materials can retain their natural forms. Organic or natural fertilizers are typically made of plants, animal waste, and minerals. These can be purchased or made by yourself as they don’t require any special equipment.

Pros:

  • Improves the structure of your soil which will lead to healthier lawns and gardens over time.
  • Organic crops tend to be more nutrient dense and are more flavorful due to the nutrients they are pulling from healthy soil that hasn’t been depleted of minerals and nutrients.
  • You won’t have to deal with a toxic buildup of chemicals in your plants because the organic material will fully decompose.
  • You are less likely to harm or kill your plants because the fertilizer is slow working.

Cons:

  • Nutrients are not immediately available to plants because they need time to break down. You may have a period of time where the plants struggle before the fertilizer starts working its magic.
  • They can typically be more expensive and less available than inorganic options.
  • The amount of nutrients going into your soil can only be a guess as there are many factors to consider such as the age of the manure, where it came from, and weather conditions.

 Chemical Fertilizers

Chemical, or inorganic fertilizers are widely available and are used more commonly than their organic counterpart. Manufacturers of chemical fertilizers refine materials in order to extract nutrients before combining with chemical fillers. Common ingredients used are petroleum products and rocks, but organic sources are also used in many cases. While these fertilizers may use organic product, they are not considered organic because the materials are stripped down to their pure state.

Pros:

  • Unlike organic fertilizers, nutrients are available to the plants right away because the materials have been stripped down. You can see improvement within days.
  • They are an affordable and widely accessible option.
  • Because of the process used to make the fertilizer, you will know the exact ratio of nutrients you are giving your lawn and garden.

Cons:

  • You plants will grow more quickly, but the fertilizer will do absolutely nothing to sustain the soil and improve it for future use. This could result in long-term damage to your soil.
  • Using chemical fertilizers on a regular basis can result in a buildup of chemicals such as uranium, arsenic, and cadmium. These chemicals could potentially leak into your fruits and vegetables.
  • You can easily over fertilize because the nutrients will start working so quickly. This doesn’t help your plants, and in fact, can actually kill them.
  • Chemical fertilizers can deplete the nutrients and minerals that are naturally found in fertile soils which leads to food that will be less flavorful and nutrient dense.
  • The chemicals in the fertilizer can potentially damage the root of your plants.

 What is The Right Choice? 

At the end of the day, it’s really up to you. We think that organic fertilizers are the better option overall because they are better for your plants and soil in the long term. However, chemical fertilizers may be the option for you if you are pressed for time and require a more affordable option.

If you have any questions, let us know! We have a large network of experienced service experts who can answer your questions about fertilizer and and much, much more.

The author’s views are entirely his or her own and may not always reflect the view of TaskEasy.

Both organic and inorganic fertilizers provide plants with the nutrients needed to grow healthy and strong. However, each contains different ingredients and supplies these nutrients in different ways. Organic fertilizers work over time to create a healthy growing environment, while inorganic fertilizers provide rapid nutrition. Determining which is better for your plants depends largely on the needs of your plants and your preferences in terms of cost and environmental impact.

Composition

Fertilizers supplement the soil with macronutrients needed in large amounts: nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. However, organic and inorganic fertilizers do so via different materials. Organic fertilizers contain only plant- or animal-based materials that are either a byproduct or end product of naturally occurring processes, such as manures, leaves, and compost. Inorganic fertilizer, also referred to as synthetic fertilizer, is manufactured artificially and contains minerals or synthetic chemicals. For example, synthetic nitrogen fertilizers are typically made from petroleum or natural gas. Phosphorus, potassium and other trace elements in inorganic fertilizers are often mined from the earth. Balanced inorganic fertilizers, high in all three macronutrients, commonly include products like ammonium nitrate, ammonium sulfate, potassium chloride (potash), triple superphosphate, and magnesium sulfate (Epsom salts).

Nutrient Availability

Organic fertilizers release nutrients only when the soil is warm and moist, which tends to correspond with your plants’ times of greatest need. However, they rely on soil organisms to break down organic matter, so nutrients are released more slowly than they are from inorganic fertilizers. This slow-release method reduces the risk of nutrient leaching, but it takes time to supply nutrients to plants. In contrast, inorganic fertilizers provide this nutrition in plant-ready form immediately. However, the concentration of nutrients increases the risk of burning the plant, and the rapid release of nutrients may leach them deeply into the soil and water table where plants can't access them.

Application

The nutrients and exact elements available from an organic fertilizer, such as manure or compost, can only be guessed at without laboratory testing. This means you’re giving an inexact application that may or may not meet your plants’ needs. By comparison, applying inorganic fertilizers is simple, because the amount of a given element and the rate of application are known.

Cost

Organic fertilizers often cost significantly more than inorganic fertilizers, but over time, this extra cost may be outweighed by the benefits it provides. Organic fertilizers continue to improve the soil long after the plants have taken the nutrients they need. Therefore, the longer your soil is fed with organic fertilizers, the better its composition and texture. So, while inorganic fertilizer is cheaper in the short term, it adds less to the soil in the long term.

Environmental Impacts

Inorganic fertilizers are immediately available to your plants, but they are subject to leaching, a process that occurs when fertilizers are washed by rain or irrigation water below the level of plant roots. Heavy applications can burn your plants and build up toxic salt concentrations in the soil, which can create chemical imbalances. Organic fertilizer may also build up concentrations of some nutrients, but buildup of toxicity is unlikely as long as the organic material is able to fully decompose. In addition, because organic fertilizers are made from natural sources, only limited amounts of fossil fuels are used in production. This means greenhouse gas released into the atmosphere is lower in organic fertilizer production than it is in inorganic fertilizer production.

About the Author

Renee Miller began writing professionally in 2008, contributing to websites and the "Community Press" newspaper. She is co-founder of On Fiction Writing, a website for writers. Miller holds a diploma in social services from Clarke College in Belleville, Ontario.

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