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Benefits of Using Organic Fertilizers

By Edited Jun 14, 2015 0 0

animal manure
Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Using organic fertilizers in gardening and farming has a lot of benefits over using chemical fertilizers. Here are some of these benefits:

The soil is a complex ecosystem as it contains billions of microorganisms that form symbiotic relationship with plants. Using organic fertilizer helps maintain this complex relationship between microorganisms and the plant. With the use of chemical fertilizers, this relationship can be destroyed or disturbed. Some components of the fertilizer can be toxic to several species of bacteria and fungi that have mutual relationship with plant roots. In the absence of these bacterial and fungal species, the plant may not survive or grow well. These organisms help the plant assimilate important nutrients from the soil to the root. They also control the population of microorganisms that can damage the plant. In return, the plant nourishes the microorganisms with essential nutrients for their growth and development. Research shows that soil microorganisms contribute to increased crop yield. Using organic fertilizer is an excellent move to protect and maintain the mutual relationship between the plant and soil microorganisms and at the same time to increase crop production.

Using organic fertilizer ensures slow release of nutrients. This is better than the fast release of nutrients from chemical fertilizers. When the roots immediately absorb these nutrients, the plant may “burn up” as it may not handle the fast influx of nutrients to its system. Some plant species experience this problem after application of chemical fertilizer. With organic fertilizer, the release of nutrients from it is slow, preventing the entrance of too many nutrients that the plant can't readily handle. Remember that plants are like our brain, it cannot handle too many information at the same time – it causes information overload.

Plant can absorb some compounds from the chemical fertilizer that can cause adverse effects to human health. These kinds of compound are present in very small amount in vegetables and fruits and may not cause illness upon ingestion. However, long time consumption of these contaminated foods will increase the level of the dangerous compounds in the body, eventually causing diseases including cancer.

Harmful compounds in chemical fertilizer can leach out to the soil and contaminate underground water, one of the major sources of freshwater in the world. Excessive use of chemical fertilizers in agricultural countries endangers the health of million people who are dependent on underground water for different purposes. Through erosion, chemical fertilizer may reach up bodies of water such as river, lake, and sea causing uncontrollable growth of plants and microorganisms. This will cause an ecological imbalance to the bodies of water.

Organic fertilizer is cheap and cost-effective unlike chemical fertilizer which is becoming very expensive. You can make organic fertilizer by mixing different organic matters such as livestock manure, leaves, and dead plants. Instead of disposing away your biodegradable wastes at home or farm, you can turn them into nutrient-rich organic fertilizes which are cheaper than chemical fertilizers.

Organic fertilizers also help retain soil moisture preventing moisture stress in plants.

The use of organic fertilizers in gardening and farming promotes long term soil fertility. The diversity of microorganisms and available soil nutrients is improved through the application of organic matter. This will ensure that plants planted in the soil will grow healthy and safe to eat.



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