Organic Fertilizer For Lawns

There is considerable debate that occurs as to the effectiveness of using organic fertilizers versus the chemical fertilizers that are used throughout the world. Chemical fertilizers are synthetic materials derived from man-made chemicals whereas organic fertilizers are the remains or the by product of a once living organism. Organic fertilizers generally include manure (chicken, cow, horse, pig, sheep), plant byproducts like cotton seed meal and corn meal, municipal sewer sludge, fish meal from dried and pulverized fish, blood meal which is dried blood from cattle slaughterhouses, various seaweed products and several other mixtures to include worm castings, molasses and honey.

By far the most practical organic fertilizer for lawns is one of the several types of manures that are available. In addition to adding necessary nutrients to the soil, these fertilizers add organic content to the soil which aids in the moisture retention which is essential for a healthy root system. Grass uses nitrogen in high quantities and often organic fertilizers do not have the high content of nitrogen that grass demands. Nevertheless, several years of using organic fertilizers like manure will add the organic content necessary to produce a strong root system that will not require the large doses of nitrogen that grass obtains from chemical fertilizers. The organic content of the soil will enable air to more easily reach the root system and the nitrogen is extracted from the air.

Organic chemicals on the whole are much more environmentally friendly than the synthetics, however it might be prudent to avoid the use of municipal sludge on garden crops because of the higher concentrations of heavy metals that may be present.

While organic chemical have lower levels of nitrogen available, their primary advantage lies in the soil building characteristics which make available more natural nitrogen. Synthetic fertilizers are nutrient rich, but do not add any organic content to the soil.

A review of some of the literature available indicates that there appear to be no adverse impacts on grass from the use of organic fertilizers while the extensive use of synthetic fertilizers adds pollution to water systems when it runs off of fertilized lands. Organic fertilizers should be more widely used on lawns for these very reasons.

There is only a slight cost premium involved in using organic fertilizers and they are widely available. Scotts, one of the foremost producers of synthetic fertilizers also manufactures organic fertilizers that are widely available.

Comments

  1. Allison says:

    I agree that organic is the way to go, but it helps to be going out of town right after you put that manure down.

  2. pls give a review of related literature about organic fertilizer

  3. BILL PARKER says:

    OUR ASSOCIATION DIRECTS THE LANDSCAPERS TO USE AMMONIA SULFATE ON OUR LAWNS, HOWEVER I THINK IT KILLS OUR “FRIENDS” THE WORM, IT ALSO SEEMS TO ME THAT IS 21-O-O IS NOT A COMPLETE FERTILIZER? I THINK THEY DO IT BECAUSE ITS CHEAP AND GREENS UP A LAWN QUICKLY, BUT FAILS TO FEED THE PLANT BEDS, DAY LILYS, AGAPANTHUS, INDIAN HAWTHORN, PODOCARPUS, XYLOSMA. WHAT FERTILIZER SHOULD THEY USE FOR BEST EFFECT. SOIL IS HEAVY CLAY AND WITH MY OFF THE SHELF SOIL TESTER, IS A ABOUT A 6 PH. , LOW IN BOTH PHOSPHORUS, POT ASH AND MED. IN NITROGEN. ANY IDEAS?

  4. What are the related literature of organic fertilizers?

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