Before we talk about the subject of organic fertilizer, lets first briefly mention what "organic" means. Simply stated, it's organic produce and other ingredients that are grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms, or ionizing radiation. Now lets talk about organic fertilizers.
Organic fertilizers are naturally-occurring fertilizers (e.g. compost, manure), or naturally-occurring mineral deposits (e.g. saltpeter). The naturally-occurring organic fertilizer includes manure, slurry, worm castings, peat, seaweed, humic acid, and guano. You may be saying that organic fertilizers don't produce the instant results that you're used to. If you use organic fertilizers you will help improve the soil of your lawn and garden. Healthy soil is the long term key to lawn and garden success. Without fertile soil, plants cannot thrive. The truth is to make organic gardening work you will need to do the other gardening things too. Gardening is not easy but organic gardening is often easier than regular gardening. Why? Instead of spending time mixing synthetic fertilizers, constantly spraying weeds and wondering why your vegetable yields are dropping year by year, you really only have to pay attention to one thing – the soil. Keep your soil healthy and replenished with rich, natural minerals and organic matter and everything else will grow healthy and strong. The benefits of organic gardening far outweigh the little extra work that is required for organic gardening.
Lets get more clarification as to what organic gardening is. Organic gardening has been described as several things: chemical-free gardening, Earth-friendly gardening, and natural gardening are just a few. And it is all of these things, but these phrases tend to be so ambiguous they end up causing confusion. For example, "chemical-free gardening" is a total misnomer, because whether you are using organic or synthetic fertilizers and pesticides in your garden, they are all "chemicals." "Natural gardening" espouses images of weeds run rampant and hornworm-infested tomato plants. "Earth-friendly" gardening works, except that everyone has a different view of what they consider to be "friendly" to the planet. Organic gardening is the practice of not using synthetic pesticides and fertilizer in your garden. Instead, you harness the power of nature to work with you to create healthy, vibrant plants, fruits and vegetables.
Organic Fertilizer Lawns
A little history on Americans and their love for their lawns: Lawn care is the most popular gardening activity in the country, outpacing vegetables, flowers, fruit and houseplants. More people tend lawns than read books, go to movies, or watch sporting events on TV. There are 5 million acres of home lawns in the United States and americans spend $6 BILLION a year to keep them looking good. A well maintained lawn can add 15% to your home's value. Lawns help muffle noise, moderate temperatures, reduce dust and pollen, control erosion, improve soil, and improve air quality by reducing CO2 levels. Whether you say natural lawn care, organic fertilizer lawn, or lawn organic fertilizer, what is comes down to is it's not only better for your lawn but can actually save you money too!
Let's speak a little bit about your lawn & how well you know it. A lawn is only as good as the soil that is beneath it. Your soil is composed of minerals, organic material, air and water. Plants and soil have a symbiotic relationship -- plant roots aerate and break down the soil into smaller particles, and eventually die, decompose, and add nutrients back to the soil. The soil provides support for the plant and nutrients. 1/2 of the bulk of the soil is made up of space in a good soil. This is comprised of water and air, which fluctuate during certain times of year. As you can see, soil plays a big role in natural lawn care.
To tell what soil you have, take a pinch of soil and roll it between your thumb and forefinger. If it feels gritty, it's a sandy soil; powdery, it's a silt soil; hard when dry and slippery when wet, it's a clay soil. Now, wet a clump and squeeze it into a lump. Clay will form a long ribbon that will hold together; sand will not stay together; silt will somewhat hold together but not form a ribbon.
Fertilizers are human-made and natural products most often applied to soil to increase and maintain agricultural production. The practice of using a natural fertilizer, particularly the feces and urine of humans and livestock, is probably as old as agriculture itself and may have developed as prehistoric humans practicing hunting and gathering noticed that not only did food plants grow where they had previously left food remains, but that those areas enriched with excrement produced more lush vegetation and a greater abundance of fruits and seeds.
Natural fertilizers include manure from livestock, post-harvest crop residues, "green manure" from surrounding fields and forests, composted plant and animal remains, and even human excrement. One of the major benefits of using a natural fertilizer is that often nutrients and organic matter are returned to the same fields from which they were previously harvested as food or fodder. Another major benefit of using natural fertilizers is to convert what would often be a noxious agricultural by-product into a relatively inexpensive agricultural input. The economic return can therefore be two-fold; reduced costs of waste disposal and reduced costs of agricultural inputs. In rural areas which lack proper waste treatment and disposal facilities, the use of wastes as a natural fertilizer is an elegant solution to both problems.
Now lets address organic fertilizer for vegetables. As vegetable gardeners, we are always faced with a myriad of questions. There are so many different choices in vegetable varieties, tool options, and more. We will discuss organic gardening supplies in a moment. One of the most common questions many gardeners ask is, "What fertilizers should I use?". There are so many fertilizer options with many different applications, it can easily confuse even seasoned gardeners. For our discussion here we will be talking about organic fertilizer for vegetables. Organic simply means it is related to, or derived from, living organisms and is not manufactured through chemicals. Organic fertilizers provide the best nutrients and minerals for a healthy garden because they are naturally occurring. Growing vegetables organically may be called organic fertilizer vegetables, vegetable organic gardening, or organic fertilizers vegetables, but whatever you may call it, there is no disputing that growing organic vegetables are both good for you and the environment! Before we get into the best organic fertilizer or best organic fertilizers (since there is obviously more than one organic fertilizer out on the market today), best fertilizers for grass, or the best fertilizers for lawn, let's briefly discuss organic gardening supplies.
Organic Gardening Supplies
Organic gardening supplies are basically the same as regular gardening supplies: tillers, Spade or Shovel, forks, chipping hoe, rake, wheelbarrow, hand pruners and pruning saws, shredders, and composters. We can't forget the major part of organic gardening supplies is the organic fertilizer itself.
The Best Fertilizers, Best Fertilizers For Lawn, And The Best Fertilizers For Grass
So you have decided to use organic fertilizer but there are different ones for different things so why don't we go over a few here to help you make an informed decision.
Fertilizer applications should be based on the recommendations of a recent soil test. The following generalized recommendations are based on the nutrient needs of moderately high yielding crops being grown in soils of low to moderate fertility. Crop fertilizer needs were summarized from various sources including The International Fertilizer Industry, the Potash and Phosphate Institute, and many State Extension Service publications. Soils that have been well fertilized in the recent past, or have received manure or compost within the past year should be fertilized at rates lower, in some cases considerably lower, than those listed here. Have your soil tested.
Best Fertilizers For Lawn
The best fertilizers for lawns would be our premium general purpose fertilizer, McGeary Organics 5-3-4. Best fertilizer for areas where there are phosphorus restrictions is our Organics 6-0-4. Our McGeary Organics 2-3-4 is also a best fertilizer lawn if higher rates are used. The phrases "best fertilizer for lawn", "best fertilizer for grass", and "best fertilizers for grass", are pretty much the same as the previous information discussed regarding best fertilizers for lawn.
What is the best fertilizer out there today? The best fertilizers will not be the same for each person, as we discussed it depends on the type of soil you have, levels of different things in your soil, and whether you had fertilized the soil in the recent past. It's a very good idea to get your soil tested to see which organic fertilizer will be best for your lawn. What is true thou, no matter what organic fertilizer your soil needs, the top organic fertilizer will be from McGeary Organics that meets the NOP requirements for Organic crops. For more detailed information on each type of organic fertilizer, please see the Fertilizer Application Recommendations page.