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The Difference Between Chemical and Natural Fertilizer

Putting the effort into a great lawn is one of the best investments that you can make for your entire home. For starters, a great lawn offers a great chance to enjoy the outdoors and spend time with your family. Secondly, by putting as little as 5% of the value of your home into your lawn you can see a return on investment of as much as 150%. This means, whether you plan on living in your home for the next decade or want to move out, getting your lawn as lush and green as possible is vital to your property maintenance.

Most people turn to fertilizer to help get this done. However, there is a divide on whether to use a natural fertilizer or a chemical one. Like anything else in life, there is some give and take here, but most people look at natural fertilizer, also referred to as organic fertilizer. However, it’s worth knowing exactly what each one does.

Chemical or Nonorganic Fertilizers

A chemical fertilizer is exactly as its name implies, a chemical designed to be put on your yard so that your grass grows better. In the short term, and if applied correctly, it can be effective. However, there are some significant issues that come along with using chemical fertilizer. For one, it’s awful for the environment, and there’s no way around that fact. Runoff, created by rain, can bring the chemicals into waterways, damaging aquatic ecosystems. That’s before you consider your own health, as many chemicals are considered to be carcinogens. Secondly, you need to be incredibly precise with chemical fertilizers, as if you use too much you will actually poison the grass, leaving dead spots and making your lawn worse than it was before you tried to use fertilizers in the first place. Finally, as a weed control method, chemical fertilizers aren’t effective, and you’ll need to use a separate chemical to control the weeds that may spring up in your yard.

Natural Fertilizers

A natural fertilizer is a more sustainable option for improving your lawn. Essentially, a liquid compost is made to fit your soil, making it as effective as possible. Once applied to your lawn, it’s important to be patient, as there tends to be a three year rule for organic fertilizers, which states that the first year won’t see much improvement, while the second year will see mild improvement, and finally the third year will see a massive and sustained improvement. This makes choosing a natural fertilizer a great option for long-term natural lawn care services.

The reason for the sustained, long-term success that comes from using a natural fertilizer is that natural fertilizer slowly releases the nutrients into the ground that your grass needs to thrive. This actually affects the makeup of the soil in your yard itself, which helps your lawn stay healthy longer. It also means that it’s difficult to overfertilize with natural fertilizers, unlike with chemical ones, for the same reason that it won’t oversaturate the grass immediately.

Furthermore, natural fertilizers continue to be the environmentally friendly option, which doesn’t come with the dangers to the ecosystems around you that chemical fertilizers do. Add to that natural fertilizers take on weeds, through a preventative measure, meaning that they don’t eradicate weeds, but they do keep them from growing. This is something that chemical fertilizers rarely do, and typically require a separate chemical weed killer to handle them as they grow. Yes, you’ll still have to remove weeds that have already grown in before you start fertilizing your lawn, but you shouldn’t have issues with new weeds growing in after the fact.

At the end of the day, having a great lawn is an opportunity to have a better life in and around your home than you would without that yard. By using natural fertilizer, you will see a better-sustained impact from the usage, without any of the potentials that come from using chemical fertilizer for the sake of getting the job done quicker.

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Soils Alive is an active member of the Agronomy Society of America (ASA), Soil Science Society of America (SSSA), and Crop Science Society of America (CSSA).

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