Organic lawn fertilizing

Asked October 16, 2017, 11:54 AM EDT

Are any lawn fertilizing companies really organic and is it worth the expense to go organic? Thanks

Oakland County Michigan

1 Response

Hello,

Advantages to using organic fertilizers are-

  • They are typically processed or derived from sources that may have less environmental impact from the manufacturing process.
  • Some or all of the nutrients require break down by microbes in the soil before they are available to the plants. This means a slower acting, usually longer lasting, fertilizer.
  • Since they typically have low concentrations of nutrients per volume, it is harder to over-apply and burn plants. (All fertilizers, inorganic and organic, are not likely to burn plants when applied correctly)
  • They are less soluble and so do not get leached away as readily as some inorganic fertilizers.
  • They often contain small amounts of micronutrients, besides the usual N-P-K
  • If the nutrients are being derived from the application of compost or composted manures, this adds organic matter to the soil which encourages beneficial microbes and improves soil's ability to hold nutrients and water. Other materials like bonemeal or bloodmeal can provide a small amount of organic matter as well.

As far as the plant itself, it doesn't 'know' the difference between a nutrient from an inorganic or an organic source.

Here are some articles on the subject:

http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/what_organic_fertilizers_mean_to_plants_and_soil

https://pddc.wisc.edu/2015/07/30/organic-lawn-fertilization/

https://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/yard-garden/lawns/characteristics-of-natural-and-manufactured-f...

https://s3.wp.wsu.edu/uploads/sites/403/2015/03/organic-superiority.pdf

As to whether the company is using an organic fertilizer, you will have to ask the company in question for the label of the product they are using. Compare the sources of the nutrients to the provided articles, or call the 800 number on the label and discuss the organic sources with the manufacturer. Determining what is allowed for a truly "organic" product, as is required by certified organic farms, is not a direct or easy thing to do. If you are interested, here is a discussion with some links to allowed organic additives:

http://articles.extension.org/pages/18321/can-i-use-this-input-on-my-organic-farm

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