Chemical Fertilizer vs Organic Fertilizer – How do you decide between the two?
Don't think you want to deal with the mess and bother of using organic fertilizer in your home garden? Maybe it just seems so much easier to go buy a bag of commercial fertilizer and get it over with. Commercial fertilizers are formulated to deliver optimum results, and can work more quickly than traditional organic methods, but there is a price to pay. There are many different types of organic fertilizers that are a much better alternative to chemicals.
Man-made chemicals are generally abundant in commercial fertilizers. Adding these to your garden is adding them to your fruits and vegetables, and from there to your family's diet!
One of the vows that a doctor makes is "Do No Harm". That is also a requirement of The Boy and Girl Scouts when they go camping or hiking. The gardener will do well to follow the same guide line. Do no harm. Your garden soil should be a little ecosystem in itself.
Chemical fertilizers upset the natural balance of your garden by forcing the plants to grow and produce faster than they're meant to, which in turn leaches remaining nutrients from the soil. Within just a few years, your garden soil will have nothing left, and the chemicals will be necessary for any growth at all. More and more fertilizer is needed every year. At this point your dirt is lifeless and full of chemicals, good for nothing but growing weeds. To build it back up to a thriving nutrient-rich soil can take years and years of adding... organic fertilizers.
Organic fertilizers, on the other hand, are fabulous for enriching your soil, naturally adding the needed microbes and humus for your garden to thrive. Every year your soil will become richer and darker, capable of producing prize worthy fruits and vegetables for your family's table. Your food will contain nothing but good nutrition and flavor.
Cost can be a factor, as well. The cost of chemical fertilizer vs organic fertilizer can make a difference in your choice. Chemical fertilizers cost money to make, package and distribute. All these costs are built into the final cost of the product, plus a big chunk of profit for those involved in each step. You, the gardener, will pay all these costs when you buy the product. So you're paying them to feed your family with chemicals.
You probably can't make your own chemical fertilizer at home, but almost anyone can make organic compost or dig in some manure. From the waste products of plants and animals comes the food to feed the next generation. It's the way of the natural world, and it works quite well without man's chemical additions.
The final product of your home garden is likely the deciding factor in choosing how you tend your garden. It is very subtle, but there is a hint of chemical odor and flavor to foods grown with chemical fertilizer that doesn't exist when you use organics. Actually, there is a lack of flavor, not just a hint. If you've never eaten food straight from the garden, it's a good thing to try to experience for yourself!
The Flavor of Chemical Fertilizer vs Organic Fertilizer
When choosing between chemical fertilizer vs organic fertilizer for taste, organic surpasses the chemical version by far. Pull a carrot from an organic garden and you can smell the carrot, and the good rich soil. Bite that carrot and the flavor just bursts in your mouth. Pull a carrot from a chemically fertilized garden and the flavor is not as intense, and there is a very slight subtle aftertaste. Washing it cannot remove the chemicals, as they are in the substance of the plant itself.
For the best flavor in your homegrown food, and healthy rich garden soil year after year, organic fertilizer is the way to go. This is one reason why Grandma's food always tasted so good!