The quick, effective way to nourish established plants in pots or in your garden is a well-balanced plant food that will go to work almost immediately, assuring continued, superlative growth and quick recovery for those that are tired and under-nourished. Our, well-balanced plant food has important minerals, trace elements, enzymes and other important natural components — for your particular needs.
Why not use chemical fertilizers? It’s a reasonable question. After all, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium ARE chemicals.
There are several organic fertilizer benefits, some purely altruistic, others much more self-interested. First of all, most chemical fertilizers provide only that well-known trio, nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). These three, known as the macro-nutrients, are indeed required in greater quantity than any others, but they are only three of the thirteen nutrients plants need. The three chemicals that qualify as secondary nutrients, calcium, sulfur, and magnesium are generally ignored, as are the trace nutrients, boron, chlorine, manganese, iron, zinc, copper, and molybdenum. While these are needed in far smaller quantities than the macro-nutrients, they are still essential.
This might not matter if plants could just get these other nutrients from the soil, and this is indeed what usually happens. But over time, and in several ways, chemical fertilizers can interfere with plants’ ability to take up nutrients.
For one thing, pure chemicals can be hard on the earthworms and micro-organisms in the soil that keep it alive and working, thus making nutrients available to plants. Earthworms not only provide perhaps the best compost available, but they also help aerate soil when they tunnel through it. Without them, soil becomes increasingly compacted, unless deeply cultivated — which is also bad for them and for soil structure. Without the beneficial effects of worms and micro-organisms, plants have a harder time accessing the secondary and micro-nutrients not found in most chemical fertilizers.
Chemical fertilizers can be equally hard on plants themselves, because they bypass the work a plant normally has to do to gain access to nutrients. One source compares it to being fed intravenously; over time, the digestive tract will grow weak from disuse. Pure chemicals will make soil less nutritious, and lessen the plants’ ability to access nutrition. Both soil and plants therefore become increasingly dependent on the chemical fertilizers.
That dependency is augmented by the quick-release action of chemicals. Most chemical fertilizers for small gardens come in a purified form, they generally give plants a major but short-term boost, followed by a sharp drop-off in the supply of nutrients. That sudden decrease is of course hard on plants, so growers tend to relieve it by providing another dose — and another.