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rainbowgardener
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Synthetic vs. organic fertilizers

This is a topic that seems to be coming around again a lot lately, so I thought I would just make a post where I collected a bunch of arguments and as many of the previous threads on the topic as I can find.

Here's some of our prior threads on the topic:

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... 90#p318290

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... 69#p318169

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... 21#p317921

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... 21#p317921

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... hp?t=49147

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... php?t=4239

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... hp?t=20514

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... hp?t=11387 (this is an older thread, that has a nice response from TheHelpfulGardener [Scott Reill] himself about the difference between organic and synthetic ferts)

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/organic/2006/ (not a thread, but one of Scott's articles in the learning section about how chem ferts damage soils)



Here's some of the arguments on why not to use synthetic ferts (taken from above threads):

And adding salt based fertilizers to soil provide an immediate substrate for plants to take up and use as fertilizer but, leaves nothing behind for plants to use in the future. So, the plants are left needing the grower to supply them with nutrients.

Furthermore, adding high concentrations of salts to soils kills beneficial soil organisms that fight off disease, decompose soil elements that will end up feeding the plants and a host of other properties and tasks.

A huge problem in the world right now is all the synthetic and water soluble fertilizers that are used and that simply runoff into rivers and out into oceans. The result is called Eutrophication and this results in what are termed dead zones where algae has taken over and killed every living organism for miles and miles. It become so bad, that not even the algae can grow.

Chemical ferts are made from ammonia salts which burn fungi and dessicate protozoa. wipes out the fungal side that was supporting your root system, so the soil begins to compact, the bacteria that the fungus were supporting start to die (some of them were the phosphorus solubilizing bacteria that were making the phosphorus from the fungus plant available). Soon even the bacteria are having trouble with the second and third dose of fertilizer as the salts begin to accumulate in the soils. Organics locks the nitrogen in bacteria, the phophorus in fungii, and it releases it all in a slow and methodical method over MUCH longer stretches of time AS THE PLANT NEEDS IT.

Depletes the soil by using up and locking all the other nutrients not provided by NPK, thus leading to crops with less nutrient value.

Degrades the tilth of the soil, so it does not hold air or water as well. (In this vein, some studies have shown that organic and chemical farms have similar yields per acre when water is plentiful. In drought years, the organic farms way out produce chemical ones, because humus rich soils hold water so much better. Drought years are becoming more frequent in much of the world and much of our country)
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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w_r_ranch
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Location: Central Texas (Zone 8b)

Re: Synthetic vs. organic fertilizers

I guess I'll just stay out of this forum...

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rainbowgardener
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Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: Synthetic vs. organic fertilizers

This is the Organic Gardening section... there are lots of other sections not so titled.

But see my response to your other post.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration



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