Many homeowners and municipalities across the U.S. are making conscious changes to their lawn care regimens to include more natural and organic treatment options. Large commercial lawn care companies are continually developing all-organic care methods that have become a popular request in nearly every state.
If you’ve been considering switching from chemical to organic fertilizers for your lawn, plants, or garden, consider the following:
Organic fertilizers are better for the environment
Chemical-free fertilizers generally work as well as chemical formulas
Organic products are safer for kids, pets, and other animals
It’s often difficult to identify truly “organic” commercial fertilizers
Organic products may take longer to work than chemical varieties
Chemical-free fertilizers can be more expensive than traditional brands
Why Choose Organic Fertilizer?
The number one difference between organic and chemical fertilizers is that organic products actually work to improve the quality of the soil as well as the plants themselves. Organic products encourage better pH balance within the soil and actually maintain a healthier climate for creatures like earthworms, which are great for soil productivity. In contrast, chemical fertilizers don’t actually change the make-up of the soil itself and can actually act as a deterrent for plant-helping organisms and animals.
Proponents of organic fertilizer also note that the products are better for the environment. There are many different kinds of organic lawn products but an all-organic lawn care regimen or an over-the-counter supplier reduces worry over contaminated water-run off, ingestion by pets or kids, and generally ensures the lawn will enhance the environment around it, not detract.
Choosing the Right Organic Fertilizer
There are many, many different types of organic fertilizers on the market. The one you choose will depend on what type of plant or grass you hope to grow and also on your climate’s needs.
First and foremost, know which products are actually 100% organic. Look for fertilizers labeled “natural organic” or “slow release,” and when in doubt, ask a local grower or lawn care professional. Be wary of any so-called organic fertilizers that are simply “natural” or those whose NPK ratio adds up to more than about fifteen.
Here are a few of the most commonly selected organic fertilizers that have been shown to produce good results in home lawns:
- Organic seaweed pellets or dried seaweed
- Hydrolized fish fertilizer (due to strong odor, use outdoors only)
- Azomite rock dust
- Meal combinations (varieties of kelp, fish, feather, alfalfa, etc.)
- Liquid Calcium
Many first-time organic fertilizers assume maintaining natural regimen is difficult or complicated. In fact, it’s possible to apply organic fertilizer in the same way you’d apply a chemical – the trick is knowing exactly which fertilizers to mix with each other for best results. It’s usually smart to start slow and try out new combinations as your plants take to the new compounds.
If you have questions about organic fertilizing or want to know more about the availability and affordability of an all-natural lawn care routine, contact a professional lawn care provider in your area or visit a nursery near your home to discuss your options.