For many years, there has been an ongoing debate whether or not you can replace compost for a chemical-based fertilizer. If this theory is true, there are many benefits to using compost as your organic fertilizer option. However, the following article will debunk the myth of compost as a fertilizer and keep you on the right track to great lawn care.
1. Is it true that compost can replace chemical-based fertilizer?
The short answer to this question is, no. This myth has been continuously told because compost does provide nutrients and ‘fertilizer-like’ benefits to the soil. However, compost does not have enough of the primary and secondary nutrients required to actually enhance plant growth. Using compost will give the soil more nutrients but will not provide additive plant growth.
Though compost cannot replace chemical-based fertilizer, there are many benefits to adding compost to your soil.
2. Benefits of compost
In order to obtain best results and give your soil the best treatment, considering using both compost and fertilizer. This combination will give the soil an increased nutrient treatment as well as the required nutrients for plant growth.
Some benefits of compost include:
- Reduces household waste by reusing kitchen compost.
- Provides organic nutrients to the soil.
- Compost can feed the entire soil food web, increasing the overall health of the soil.
- With continuous use, compost creates a more nutrient-rich soil, allowing the plants and vegetables to feed themselves.
- Compost controls the infestation of weeds.
Many individuals have turned to an organic alternative, like compost, in hopes that it can reduce the amount of chemicals used. Though there are organic alternatives for fertilizer available, the benefits of a chemical based fertilizer follow.
3. Benefits of chemical-based fertilizer:
For those who are looking to achieve the benefits of chemical-based fertilizer but wish to remove the use of chemicals and use only organic products, try the following organic fertilizer alternatives.
Some benefits of chemical-based fertilizer include:
- Immediately adds nutrients to the soil.
- Specifically targets plant growth.
- Helps remove deficiency of nutrients which creates stronger, more developed plants
- Helps improve land of poor quality.
4. Composted manure
Be sure to check with your local gardening supply store for which type of manure is best for your lawn and garden and for the recommended treatment plan. Manure is an excellent fertilizer because, with the right type and treatment plan, can provide all required nutrients that are found in chemical fertilizers.
5. Alfalfa pellets
Mix alfalfa pellets with water and spray on the soil to receive all the nutrients that alfalfa contains. When initially purchasing these pellets, ensure that you read the label as some of these brands contain weed seeds within the pellets.
6. Wood ash
Use the ashes from your fireplace as a free organic fertilizer. This alternative will provide your soil with potassium, calcium, and phosphorus. Sprinkle a thin layer of wood ash onto your garden periodically to create rich, nutrient filled soil. Be sure not to use too much or too often as it can burn your plants.
The largest difference between using a chemical or organic based fertilizer is the time of impact each has. Chemical fertilizers have an immediate impact on the soil, providing any required nutrients immediately and continuously with regular application. An organic-based fertilizer releases a slow, deep nutrient additive to the soil. It creates an overall long-term healthy soil but does not provide immediate relief to the plants if required.
The best treatment for your lawn is to combine organic and chemical-based fertilizers into your soil. This dual treatment will provide the benefits of both the organic and chemical fertilizers, creating a healthy, rich lawn and garden. If you are still unsure of which fertilizer to use, a professional lawn service will be able to determine your most optimal solutions.