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All About Organic Fertilizers

Organic Growing


Before we talk about the subject of organic fertilizer, let's first clarify what "organic" does not mean when it comes to our fertilizer. Simply stated, we use only those ingredients that are grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms, or ionizing radiation.


Organic fertilizers are naturally-occurring fertilizers (e.g. compost, manure), or naturally-occurring mineral deposits (e.g. saltpeter).   Naturally-occurring organic fertilizer includes manure, slurry, worm castings, peat, seaweed, humic acid, and guano.

If you have been farming or gardenng for many years, you may be thinking that these new organic fertilizers don't produce the instant results that you're used to.  Yet we find that instant results are not best treatment for crops, largely because they dont improve the soil over the longterm. Organic fertilizers  will help you  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 will only 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.


Lets get more clarification as to what organic gardening is. Organic gardening has been described in several ways: Chemical-free gardening, Earth-friendly gardening, and Natural gardening are just a few. Certainly, it is all of these things. However,  these phrases can be so ambiguous they end up causing confusion.


For example, "Chemical-free gardening" is not an accurate description because whether you are using organic or synthetic fertilizers and pesticides in your garden, they are all "chemicals." "Natural gardening" brings to mind an imagesof weeds run rampant or hornworm-infested tomato plants. "Earth-friendly" gardening works, except that everyone has a different view of what it means to be "friendly" to the planet.

Organic gardening is the practice of growing plants, vegetables, flowers, grains, grass without the use of  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 Fertilzer for Lawns

Drive through suburban neighborhoods and you can see  Americans and their love for their lawns: When it comes to gardening, 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 improve the value of a home by  15 percent. 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 you want is improved soil and resulting healthy grass that not only improves your lawn but can actually save you money too!


A lawn is only as good as the soil that is beneath it. 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. In good soil, half of the bulk of the soil is made up of space that  is comprised of water and air.  Naturally, the amounts of water and air in soil will fluctuate during certain times of year. As you can see, nature's effect on the 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.


Natural Fertilizers 

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 as old as agriculture itself .  We can speculate that prehistoric humans whose lives were spent in hunting and gathering food  began to notice that plants would where they had previously left food remains.  As they looked to plants, rather than animals, for their food supply, they realized that areas of soil 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 let's address organic fertilizer for vegetables. As vegetable gardeners, we are always faced with many questions.  Choices are made for  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 synthetic chemicals. Organic fertilizers provide the best nutrients and minerals for a healthy garden because they are naturally occurring.


Organic Gardening Supplies

Organic gardening supplies are basically the same as regular gardening supplies. Ths list includes  tillers, spade or shovel, forks, chipping hoes, rakes, a  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 for Lawn and Grass. 

When you have decided to use organic fertilizer you realize there are many choices, depending on your soil and the nature of your crop or planting.

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 Agricultural 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 Fertilizer for Lawns

The best fertilizers for lawns would be our premium general purpose fertilizer, McGeary Organics 5-3-4 and the best fertilizer for areas where there are phosphorus restrictions is our Organics 6-0-4. Our McGeary Organics 2-3-4  also gives you a better fertilized lawn if higher rates are used. 


What is the best fertilizer out there today?  

The best fertilizers will not be the same for every person, every gardener, every soil type.  Always consider the type of soil on your property,  the levels of different nutrients 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. 

With the results of your soil test in hand, we can help you choose the  organic fertilizer your soil needs. The top organic fertilizer will be from McGeary Organics because it will  meet the NOP requirements for organic crops.  For more detailed information on each type of organic fertilizer, please see the Fertilizer Application Recommendations page.


  For large orders over 500lbs please call 800-624-3279 or Contact Us for discounts and direct shipping rates.

Meets the NOP requirements for Organic crops
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