The various chemical fertilizers can be just right for giving you short term, quick growth for your lawn. However, you need to think about the chemicals and the risks that they pose for the underlying health of your entire lawn. More and more people across the nation are looking into natural, organic lawn fertilizers as a healthier, richer solution for long term lawn care.
Lawn Health = Soil Health
What many gardeners may not realize is that lawn and garden health is directly related to soil health where they are planting. A healthy lawn will get a great deal of nutrition from the microbes found in the soil that are known for feeding on organic matter. Whenever you fertilize using strong synthetic chemicals, microbes will get a healthy burst of nutrients that will cause a population bloom that will consume all of the organic matter that is stored in your soil. This truly is not a healthy balance and the microbes will vanish once the food source is depleted. Adding more chemical fertilizers to simply make up for the damaged soil simply keeps the cycle going.
Fertilizer Can Leech Into Groundwater
There can be other side effects that come from the use of synthetic fertilizers with lots of chemicals. Not only is there immediate risk of having these chemicals around pets and people, but 1/3 to 1/2 of the water soluble fertilizer products will leech away in groundwater and can make their way into the waterways and drinking water. For example there is a stretch in the Gulf of Mexico that spreads over 7,000 square miles that is known as the dead zone. This is where fertilizers have washed down from the Mississippi River and brought on an imbalance of nutrients in the algae that has stripped water of the oxygen for fish and the other organisms. As of 2007, there were about 150 of these dead zones across the globe.
The Organic Approach To Feeding Your Lawn
An alternative here is the natural, more organic approach. The organic, all-natural lawn fertilizers will put out nutrients slowly so that they can nourish all of the soil microbes. As the soil starts to get healthier the roots of the lawn will grow deeper and get more of the stored water, which leads to a lesser need for watering. When you add about half an inch of compost annually to the lawn, you can help to feed all of the microbes and the lawn. The organic matter will also help to hold in the moisture in the soil. About 70% of municipal water use throughout the world is used for irrigation, so the ability to reduce the water that is needed for your lawn will lead to significant savings with organic lawn fertilizers.
Healthy Lawns Use Less Water
The natural organic lawn fertilizers for your lawn will also come with other benefits. As the lawn grows and gets healthier, it will require much less watering. Try to keep your lawn between two to three inches and cut back any branches that will shade the lawn to help prevent moss. Mushrooms on the lawn can also be an issue where there is a great deal of decomposing carbon matter in your soil. A good organic lawn fertilizer will restore the balance of carbon-nitrogen in the soil to help prevent the mushrooms from gathering excess food. The natural fertilizers will release the nutrition slower and they will not need to be applied quite as often as the synthetic options. What is usually recommended will be 20 lbs for every 1000 square ft. of lawn two times per year, once in the spring and once in the fall.
Organic Lawn Fertilizers Make Money Sense
It is evident that the synthetic chemical fertilizer products ca do more harm than good when it comes to the health of a lawn. Even a fully organic lawn will require a good fertilizer to stay green. If you leave the grass clippings on your lawn after you mow it, you can satisfy about 25% of the lawn’s nutritional needs. While some may argue that the organic fertilizer options will cost more than synthetic, you are getting a much better value and you may never need the expensive pesticides, fungicides and herbicides you would use with conventional chemical fertilizers.