Organic Fertilizer

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Organic Fertilizer

One of the most commonly asked questions by homeowners striving to create more beautiful lawns regards the difference between inorganic, or mineral fertilizers, and organic fertilizers. To summarize the difference very quickly: Inorganic fertilizers deal with minerals like iron, zinc and boron through the use of factory-produced, chemically balanced and potentially harmful fertilizers. Organic fertilizers come straight from the Earth and are actually helpful to the environment at large.

One of the oldest types of organic fertilizer is good old-fashioned cow manure. Any manure works, but over the thousands of years this practice has been in use by those improving their lawn’s soil, it seems that cow manure has become the preeminent favorite. But why do people use animal waste to fertilize their grass? I know, it sounds crazy, but it actually works!

You see, manure not only adds the required nutrients to the soil that grass need to live, but it also adds organic matter that can seep into the soil to make it more fertile. Another clear advantage that manure has over artificial fertilizers is that other creatures, like flies and worms, feed off the manure (specifically, bacteria and fungi) in what some scientists have dubbed the “soil food web”. The presence of such creatures means a healthier lawn.

The other kind of organic manure you see quite often is called “green manure”. Green manure is purely plant life that is allowed to grow for the sole purpose of one day being plowed under and into the soil. This practice, while sounding rather pointless, actually does a great service to the soil by releasing nutrients and organic matter directly into the soil. One form of green manure is the used hops left over from the creation of many kinds of beer, which is dumped onto the soil and quickly consumed, but there are other kinds of green manure as well. Green manure is popular amongst many homeowners for lawns, since it doesn’t smell like cow manure, so consider it if you’re trying to improve your lawn.


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