The Benefits of Organic Fertilizer

Overview

Organic fertilizers supply nutrients to plants to keep them healthy and growing vigorously. Organic fertilizers contain varying amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Too little fertilizer leads to lack of plant performance and too much fertilizer leads to weak stems and disease problems.

Composition

Organic fertilizers are materials that were once living organisms or byproducts of living organisms. This includes manure, plant debris, cover crops, compost, old leaves, peanut hulls and bone meal.

Sources

Organic fertilizer can be obtained from inexpensive sources. Livestock producers will sometimes give away manure for free. Organic fertilizers are one of the best ways to recycle materials that would otherwise be thrown away.

Slow Release

Organic fertilizers break down slowly, so supply a steady source of nutrients to plants.

Soil Texture

The inclusion of organic materials improves the texture of the soil. It helps it handle water and hold nutrients better.

Purpose

Plants and soils need nutrients to grow. Some plants need an extra nutritional boost from organic fertilizers during their growth cycle.

Beneficial Organisms

Organic fertilizers create an environment that promotes the development of beneficial soil organisms. This increases soil fertility through natural means, such as earthworms.

References

  • The Garden Primer; Barbara Damrosch; 2008
  • N.C. State University Cooperative Extension: Organic Fertilizer
Keywords: organic fertilizer, beneficial organisms, soil fertility

About this Author

Karen Carter spent three years as a technology specialist in the public school system and her writing has appeared in the "Willapa Harbor Herald" and the "Rogue College Byline." She has an Associate of Arts from Rogue Community College with a certificate in computer information systems.