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Fertilizer Information

Fertilizers are soil amendments applied to promote plant growth; the main nutrients present in fertilizer are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (the ‘macronutrients’) and other nutrients (‘micronutrients’) are added in smaller amounts. Fertilizers are usually directly applied to soil, and also sprayed on leaves (‘foliar feeding’).
Fertilizers are roughly broken up between organic and inorganic fertilizer, with the main difference between the two being sourcing, and not necessarily differences in nutrient content.
Organic fertilizers and some mined inorganic fertilizers have been used for many centuries, whereas chemically synthesized inorganic fertilizers were only widely developed during the industrial revolution. Increased understanding and use of fertilizers were important parts of the pre-industrial British Agricultural Revolution and the industrial green revolution of the 20th century.

Advantages of organic fertilizer
Organic fertilizers have been known improve the biodiversity (soil life) and
long-term productivity of soil, and may prove a large depository for excess carbon dioxide.
Organic nutrients increase the abundance of soil organisms by providing organic matter and micronutrients for organisms such as fungal mycorrhiza, (which aid plants in absorbing nutrients), and can drastically reduce external inputs of pesticides, energy and fertilizer, at the cost of decreased yield.

Comparison with inorganic fertilizer
Chicken litter, which consists of chicken manure and sawdust, is one example of an organic fertilizer that has been shown to better condition soil for harvest than synthesized fertilizer. Researchers at the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) studied the effects of using chicken litter, an organic fertilizer, versus synthetic fertilizers on cotton fields. They found that fields that were fertilized with chicken litter had cotton yields 12% higher than those fields fertilized with synthetic fertilizers. Other ARS studies have found that algae used to capture nitrogen and phosphorus runoff from agricultural fields can not only prevent water contamination of these nutrients, but also can be used as an organic fertilizer. Originally, scientists developed the algal turf scrubber to reduce nutrient runoff and increase the quality of the water flowing into streams, rivers, and lakes. However, they found that this nutrient-rich algae, once dried, can be applied to cucumber and corn seedlings and result in growth comparable to that seen using synthetic fertilizers. (from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Organic Gardening Tips
The importance of organic gardening and farming has become increasingly popular. People have become more health conscious and do not want to expose their bodies or the environment to chemicals and pesticides. These toxins cause numerous health problems and pollute the land. Garden, lawn care and lawn maintenance are best served by using natural organic products and fertilizers.

What makes organic fertilizers different from chemical fertilizers is that the materials are a by-product of vegetables, animals or minerals. The decomposing matter from these sources, break down naturally and will provide nutrients and minerals to the soil. When considering lawn maintenance it is necessary to make sure that the lawn or garden gets the all of the nutrients that it needs for healthy growth. Although nutrients are available in regular soil, fertilizers can provide and ensure that plants have a balanced and sustainable access to the nutrients. Proper lawn care includes providing for the health of the lawn and garden.

One of the benefits of organic fertilizer is that the nutrients are released more slowly than in chemical fertilizers. This slower process allows the plants to process the fertilizer in a more natural way and will not result in over fertilizing which could damage the plants. Another benefit of organic fertilizer in your landscaping and lawn care is that it will actually help to improve the soil itself.
It will help the soil to retain moisture. The organic substances can break up clay in the soil. The soil drainage and air circulation of the soil can also be improved. When the soil has the structure and nutrients that it needs, lawn care will be easier. Organic fertilizers are the best option for lawn care when you have pets
at home. They maintain a healthy environment as they are harmless for your pets. Organic fertilizers also improve the natural resistance of the grass towards pests and insects.

It does take more effort to practice natural, eco-friendly gardening. The use of organic fertilizers requires time and patience. Microorganisms in the soil – fungi, bacteria, algae, molds, and earthworms – take several weeks to break down organic matter, transforming it into workable soil, rich in readily-available nutrients. For this reason, a vegetable garden organic fertilizer should be added, at least three weeks before the first seeds are planted. Once it is time to plant, work the soil, turning upper and lower layers. Make sure there are no clumps of un-rotted material, as this could interfere with nutrient uptake.

Be flexible with a newly organic garden. The more time spent adding material, and allowing it to integrate into the earth naturally, the better the soil. Keep in mind, areas where chemicals may have been previously used, or where the soil is of a poor quality, allow for more time to cycle in organic matter. Have patience, and enjoy the learning process. The fruits of organic gardening are well worth the effort.

 
 
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