What Are the Possible Disadvantages of a Natural Fertilizer?
What are the disadvantages of using organic fertilizers? The main reason that gardeners may opt for the conventional product is convenience. Non-organic fertilizers are often easier to apply, are more concentrated, have the option of providing a quick sources of minerals, and the entire process from purchasing to applying is more straightforward. With organic fertilizers time is necessary for results. The matter has to be broken down and even then the concentration of available nutrients will be moderate.
Also, depending on what you use you may not know for sure what ratio of nutrients you are adding to the soil. Conventional products are made with a specific ratio of nutrients. With organic matter the nutrition is what is available in the actual material. For example soybean meal is high in nitrogen and kelp meal is a great source of potassium. Taking an extra step and having your soil tested to see what nutrition is required may be needed with the use of organic products. Choosing from the different available organic fertilizer materials to then create the right balance can be complicated for someone who prefers to simply buy what works, apply it, and buy the same product again next year.
Organic fertilizers can be more expensive when using store bought brands. This does not have to be the case, but the less expensive alternatives — using your own organic matter and finding a resource in the community — can take time and effort. Some materials on their own are very inexpensive, for example alfalfa meal may cost less than a non-organic fertilizer, but you may choose to buy multiple materials to create a nutritional balance and more actual matter is required when using organic.
Finally, while organic fertilizers are much more eco-friendly, they are not necessarily free from toxins. For example, cottonseed meal would have pesticide residues unless the cotton was grown organically. Organic fertilizers are natural materials rather than synthetic, buy they are not from organic certified sources unless indicated. While this is not necessarily a disadvantage as organic fertilizers are still better for the environment, it is important to understand exactly what you are purchasing when making a decision.
Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of organic fertilizer you can decide if switching to organic matter is right for you. While organic does mean natural, better for the soil and better for the plants, it can be a more involved process. Non-organic fertilizer is not beneficial for the soil in the long-term and in fact will diminish the quality of the soil and introduce chemical additives into the environment, but the ease of use may be preferable.