CategoriesSoil Health

Garden fertilisers

The lowdown on what’s going on down low.

If you’ve decided to read past the intriguing headline, you clearly have some interest in the health of your plants; more precisely, the health of the medium they’re growing in. So, what’s the most effective way to give your plants the proper nutrients they need to thrive? Well, everyone wants healthy plants, good growth, vigorous root stock, shiny foliage and delicious fruit and veggies. But what’s best?

Pose this question to any green finger and chances are they’ll have a fairly strong opinion as to which they prefer and why. After all, there are positives and negatives to both options, which can get into some pretty hardcore science – which we won’t have time for here but we’ll add some links down below.

So firstly let’s discuss a little terminology,

Inorganic, or chemical fertilisers are manufactured from a mixture of organic and non-organic materials and refined. The nutrients the plants can use have been extracted and combined with chemicals to make a synthetic solution.

Organic fertilisers are less processed, so the nutrients aren’t refined, and are present in their natural forms. The ‘organic’ in this term is quite different from the ‘organic’ in organic foods, which means the food is grown with non-genetically modified processes.

Certified organic is the name given to products that have been grown, harvested and manufactured according to strict regulations. Not really used when talking about fertilisers but it’s important to know for later in this article (hint…Swift grow)

So a quick rundown of the positives and negatives of each.

Inorganic/chemical fertilisers.

Advantages:

  • They work quickly, and their effects can be seen almost immediately.
  • Their micronutrient ratios are carefully controlled – so you know exactly what you’re getting and can target deficiencies in your soil and plants
  • They’re relatively inexpensive.

Disadvantages:

  • They’re primarily made from non-renewable sources, like fossil fuels
  • They do nothing for the health of the soil as they don’t contain the natural microflora soils need for optimum health.
  • They can leach away from areas into unwanted parts of the garden/land
  • Can cause toxic build-ups of unwanted chemicals
  • Can upset the natural balance of soils which can be harmful to the beneficial microbial ecosystem, which can, in turn, cause an increase in pests.

Organic fertilisers:

Advantages:

  • Improve the overall health of the soil and the plants growing in them
  • As they’re slow release, it’s difficult to over fertilise your plants
  • You won’t get any toxic build-up of unwanted chemicals
  • Organic fertilisers are made of renewable and sustainable sources.
  • They’re environmentally friendly

Disadvantages:

  • They’re usually more expensive than chemical fertilisers.
  • They (mostly) follow Mother Nature’s rules, and generally take a little longer to be absorbed by your plants, so patience is a virtue. (Swift Grow gets around this problem)
  • It can often be difficult to get exact ratios of micronutrients, so it’s more of holistic approach.

An added bonus:

Choosing an organic fertiliser such as Swift Grow gives you the added reassurance that it’s production is also Certified Organic. Swift grow as been classified and approved in Australia as Input for Organic Production. It is made from the manure of sustainably farmed barramundi, who have been fed organic material. This results in the natural micronutrients being preserved through the natural circle of life and available to your plants as an odour-free, rapidly absorbed, liquid fertiliser.

You could say it’s organic organic fertiliser. Win-win.

If you’d like to know more about Inorganic and Organic Fertilisers check out these links:

https://horticulture.tekura.school.nz/soils/soils-3/ht1033-soils-3-study-plan/using-fertilisers/

https://www.aucklandbotanicgardens.co.nz/garden-advice/garden-tips/healthy-plants/fertilising/

https://todayshomeowner.com/debate-over-organic-chemical-fertilizers/2/