Organic fertilizers are a kinder, gentler way to give plants the nutrients they need. Organic fertilizers usually come from plants, animals, or minerals and contain a variety of nutrients to enhance the soil ecosystem. Synthetic fertilizers don't enhance soil life or add organic matter. Other benefits for using organic fertilizers over synthetics are:

  • They release their nutrients more slowly in the soil, when the plants need them, so they last longer.

  • The nutrients are contained in complex molecules that won't leach away with the first rain.

  • They are less likely to burn the young roots of seedlings. Synthetic fertilizers are made from mineral salts that can kill roots as well as soil microbes if applied improperly.

  • They enhance soil health by nurturing (or at least not harming) the soil microbes that help make soil nutrients available to plants.

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Organic Gardening For Dummies Cheat Sheet

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