Synthetic Fertilizer vs Organic: What’s Best?

Al Ardh Alkhadra > Blog > Farming > Synthetic Fertilizer vs Organic: What’s Best?

synthetic fertilizer on plant

With the immense growth of kitchen gardening, people can plant their vegetables and fruits at home. Though should you choose a synthetic fertilizer or an organic one?

Both synthetic and organic fertilizers are available in the market.

Organic fertilizers are made from organic sources whereas synthetic ones are made from chemicals.

Fertilizers are an essential component of growing your plants and without them, your plants will suffer.

Hence, you need to make the best choice between these two.

This article discusses which one is a better choice for your plants so that they grow well and produce fruits and vegetables.

synthetic fertilizer granules

 

What Is A Synthetic Fertilizer?

Factories make these inorganic fertilizers in either liquid, granule, pellet or spike form.

If it is a blue powder, then you will blend it in water to use it.

The plant absorbs this water-soluble powder, liquid extremely quickly.

Moreover, plants require 13 important nutrients.

Three primary macronutrients are Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium.

Plants need a large amount of these nutrients hence, you need to apply them regularly.

There are also secondary nutrients such as Calcium, Sulfur and Magnesium.

Though there is enough of these in the soil already, hence you do not need fertilizers for them.

Next comes micronutrients, such as copper, iron and chloride. Plants need them in lesser quantity.

Inorganic fertilizers are rich in N, P, K, (Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium).

Chemical compounds are broken down in a lab to extract high quantities of N, P, K and form a final product.

nutrients in fertilized soil

 

Though they do not contain any mico nutrients or if they do, they are very few.

When you pour down the water-soluble fertilizer on the plant, the roots absorb and retain as much as they can.

While the rest flows down into the water table and soil.

Hence, they provide the plant immediately with a lot of nutrients as the roots soak up the fertilizer.

They work fast by giving the plant a boost of primary nutrients and greening it.

However, the results do not last long and you will have to keep giving the plant its supply of fertilizer.

Moreover, while they give plants much-needed nutrients, they do not impact the soil.

Hence, it does not really improve the fertility of the soil or its texture.

This is why you need to add it back constantly.

Though, you need to be careful about their quantity.

If you add too much fertilizer, then it can burn your plants so only go by the instructions.

This also saves waste and the environment.

For instance, limestone pellets as fertilizers are coated with nutrients and cover the plants and lawn completely.

However, after the application, limestone drains into the soil which isn’t advantageous to it.

Synthetic fertilizers include Ammonium Nitrate, Potassium Sulphate and Ammonium Phosphate.

While applying these to bone dry plants, make sure to water the roots first so that they absorb it effectively.

It has its set of pros and cons in comparison to Organic Fertilizers. We will discuss that below.

However, not all plants can survive with organic manure and fertilizer like Supertunia containers. 

That’s where you will need your boost of synthetic fertilizers.

organic manure

 

What Are Organic Fertilizers?

Synthetic fertilizers feed the plant by giving it a boost of primary nutrients whereas organic fertilizers feed the soil as well as the plant.

This way plants get to retain their growth for a long time and do not burn them.

Organic fertilizers come from animal and plant waste such as compost, manure and crop residues.

Green manure crops also become a good natural fertilizer.

Since they are entirely natural, they are sustainable and have a small carbon footprint.

The fertilizers of Al Ard Alkhadra are also organic, sustainable and natural.

They slowly release nutrients and microorganisms into the soil as these microorganisms convert the fertilizer into nutrients.

The plants absorb these nutrients at a normal rate.

They add nitrogen to the plants when they are growing and also more nutrients when you plow them in the soil.

Moreover, it also contains the secondary and micronutrients that inorganic fertilizers lack.

Organic fertilizers employ a long terms process of enriching the soil and making it more fertile.

You do not have to worry about runoff, excess application or wastage as the soil benefits from it.

So even if they contain less Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium (N, P, K), a single application can go a long way.

Hence, the plants are fed for longer and do not need a re-application sooner.

They stay greener for a long time, even if the results are not immediate and everything in it is good for the soil and plant.

applying organic fertilizers to plant

 

Though, they are more costly than their counterpart.

Additionally, they require moist soil and warmth to work effectively.

Hence, you will have to provide water and sunlight to your plants so that the nutrients in the fertilizer break down.

Moreover, it is hard to control weeds in completely organic fertilizer.

Other cons include:

  • The nutrients released in the soil is low, hence results are slow
  • You cannot control the number of nutrients to use as the release rate can vary according to climate
  • It is expensive
  • It requires manual labor to apply to the plants

Some pros include:

  • It is safer to use around with children and pets
  • Conserves the soil, enriches it, improves its fertility and enhances the plants’ ability to hold water
  • Has minimal processing and artificial chemicals
  • Plants are not overfertilized because all nutrients are good for the soil
  • Less waste so it is sustainable and biodegradable
  • Compost contains microbes that can control pathogens
  • Contaminants in soil and water are broken down into less harmful substances, hence it is environment friendly

Now that you know about both synthetic and organic fertilizers, let’s find out which one is better for your plants and lawn.

fertilization of soil by hand

 

Organic vs Synthetic Fertilizer

The main difference between synthetic and organic fertilizers is their ingredients.

While synthetic are derived inorganically, organic is made from only natural material.

This difference determines the efficacy of the fertilizer on the plants in the long term and its ability to sustain weeds and other damages.

Composition and Ingredients 

Synthetic fertilizers use chemical processing whereas organic fertilizers are totally natural.

The source material for natural fertilizers is bone meal, compost, manure and crop residue.

Hence, powdered minerals, animal and plant waste make up an organic fertilizer.

In inorganic fertilizers, the compounds are extracted from chemical products to make a consistent ratio of nutrients.

They usually come from petrochemical products as by-products of petroleum.

They are processed in a way to assure the consistency of the nutrients and their quantity carefully.

Application To The Plants 

Inorganic fertilizers come in sprays, liquids or pellets that spread to larger areas.

They break down when you apply water on top of the soil and fertilizer.

While organic ones need to be worked into the soil to break down the ingredients and release nutrients.

Hence, you will require more effort in terms of time, labor and physical strength if you need to use it on a large area.

So inorganic products are much faster to apply.

Seeing Results 

You will quickly see results in inorganic products because they contain a high amount of nutrients.

However, the fast-acting fertilizers can eventually turn toxic for the plants as they need constant reapplication because results do not last long even if you see them sooner.

Though, there are also slow release inorganic products that do not provide nutrients immediately and need plenty of water supply.

Organic fertilizers require warmth and moisture, hence they work best from late spring to early fall.

Moreover, you see results very slowly because the nutrients remain in their natural form and slowly provide visible results to the plant.

Soil Fertility and Health 

Organic products also feed the soil when they release microbes and nutrients in it.

This improves the texture of the soil, its quality and fertility. Also, they improve the water retention of the soil.

As a result, plants grow healthier and the soil is good enough for further cultivation.

Synthetic ones do not provide any benefit to the soil but may deplete it of its nutrients because of excessive use.

As they do not add any nutrients to the soil but use up the nutrients in it to grow the plants.

Eventually, the soil will become infertile and need replacement.

Also if you add water to the soil, it can wash away the inorganic fertilizer.

So, you have to continuously apply it so that it remains in place.

Nutrient Ratios 

The nutrient ratios in the inorganic products are measured.

They are rich in N, P, K and have a specific ratio in the products.

You can do a pH test of the soil to determine how much you should add to maintain a 6.0 to 7.0 pH.

However, you cannot do the same with organic products.

You cannot correct the soil’s pH balance as there is no set ratio of nutrients.

Moreover, they have fewer primary nutrients than synthetic ones.

Environmental Friendly 

Organic fertilizers are environmentally friendly as they are made from natural resources.

Moreover, you can buy them locally from greenhouses, farms and livestock farms.

Hence, they are natural and reduce the carbon footprint.

They are biodegradable, renewable and sustainable.

However, a synthetic fertilizer not so environmentally friendly.

They require extensive processing which uses chemicals and water.

Also, its regular use can result in the formation of toxic arsenic and uranium which is dangerous around pets and children.

girl plowing soil in plants

 

Where Should You Use Them?

You can use organic fertilizer in smaller areas such as the kitchen garden or any other small place for you to grow fruits and vegetables.

Since it is environmentally friendly and safe, you can use it around children and pets without worrying about uranium and arsenic exposure.

Moreover, using it in any organic food garden will also help to improve the quality of the produce.

Hence, you can use it in smaller areas where you will not require much manual labor and can reduce costs.

It is best to use a synthetic fertilizer where there is less traffic, low water runoff and high scale areas.

Wherever you need immediate results, you should go for inorganic products.

As it is not that costly then it will require less maintenance and give quicker results.

Conclusion 

Now that you know thoroughly about Organic vs Synthetic fertilizer, you can determine the best choice on your preference.

If you want quicker results on a large area then you can choose a synthetic fertilizer.

However, if you want better and longer results that also improve the soil and give you good yield then you should opt for organic options.

Al Ard Alkhadra produces organic fertilizers that provide good yield and also nourish the soil.

Therefore, choose according to your preference as both have their set pros and cons.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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