Why is an organic fertilizer better than a chemical one?
Organic fertilizers such as manures, compost or bone meal are derived directly from plant or animal sources. Inorganic fertilizers such as ammonium sulfate or ammonium phosphate are often called commercial or synthetic fertilizers, because they go through some manufacturing process, although many of them come from naturally occurring mineral deposits. Since bacteria and fungi have to decompose organic fertilizer before they can be taken up by plants, nutrients are released more slowly, especially during cold weather when soil microbes are not as active. But organic fertilizers have many advantages. With organic fertilizers soil crusting is reduced. Organics may improve water movement into the soil and, in time, add structure to the soil. Organics feed beneficial microbes, thereby making the soil easier to work. Organic fertilizers may cost more than chemical, or inorganic fertilizers, because they are less concentrated, supplying fewer nutrients pound for pound.