Many of you are probably wondering about this fertilizer assay "Wadaya mean, HG? A bigger number means more nutrient; says so right here opnn the package." " Well that's true in a most literal way. But it 's the mode of action and HOW the plant derives nutrition from the fertilizer. The chemical way is to put the nutrient in a directed form in contact with roots. But it is a salt, and water soluble, so it dries out other things as the soil dries, and when the soil gets wet, it migrates away from the roots; nothing to hold it in place. NOW you have compromised the biology that WAS feeding the plant and left nothing in it's place.
Those "low" assay organic fertilizers are not so much food for plants as food for organisms. We are feeding the biology in the soil and THAT feeds the plants (which is why poop works so well). These organisms bring nitrogen and phosphorus to the table, but remember what V'ger called everything on Earth in the first Star Trek movie? (Yes, guilty
) "Carbon based life forms". Thats EVERYTHING on earth. What's the most important thing about carbon? (as all good climate change students know). It is usually not very soluble. Like not at all. Try to dissolve charcoal. Or coal. Or a diamond. All pretty pure carbon. Now what about our bacteria? 5:1 carbon to nitrogen (C2N). And that's the high NITROGEN end of the life scale. We are in the low thirties; trees can be 100:1 C2N. Bacteria won't dissolve. And they don't wash away either. They exude polysaccharides (simple sugars )to make a glue that sticks them really well. Speaking of which, most of our plants exude the same polysaccharides to attract bacteria (Elaine Ingham calls it "cake and cookies" because that's how much the bacteria like it), which attracts protozoa, etc., etc... SO those low assay organic fertilizers get eaten by soil biology (bacteria and fungii) which puts the nitrogen in a carbonized state, and then it is released as it moves up the food chain from the 5:1 C2N bacteria, to the 30:1 protozoa, to the 100:1 nematode. Every step sequesters carbon, releasing small available amounts of nutrient where? Right around the "cake and cookies"; the plants root exudates! So even though the assay is lower, organics puts the nutrients where it counts, every time, while sequestering carbon in more and more stable forms. The chemical way constantly kills huge quantiities of biology, releasing nutrients and carbon to systems that can't store it biologically, so most of it volatizes (nitrogen as ammonia and carbon as CO2). And THAT'S one BIG reason why Gixx is right about better for the planet. Organics sequesters carbon, chemicals releases huge amounts, both in production AND use...