Organic Fertilizer

Organic fertilizers are broken down by micro-organisms in the soil; this releases nutrients gradually to the plant root. The length of this process can take a matter of weeks depending on external factors such as soil temperature and moisture levels. This release of bio-active compounds and humic substances from the organic matter stimulates plant growth and root development, over time improving the overall quality and structure of the soil for plant production.

As organic fertilizers release nutrients slowly it is very difficult to over fertilize and damage plants and their nature means there is little to no risk of toxic build-up of salts and chemicals which could be harmful to plants.

Organic fertilizers form an integral part of the circular bio-economy, they are renewable, biodegradable, sustainable, and environmentally friendly.

Chemical fertilizers are inorganic fertilizers that are synthetic in nature and primarily made from non-renewable sources, including fossil fuels . Compared to their organic counterpart, chemical fertilizers don’t need the help of the soil to break them down. Instead chemical fertilizers simply need the soil to hold them until they have been absorbed by the plant. Chemical fertilizers breakdown more quickly and tend to result in some immediate improvement in plant growth, however, they do nothing to sustain the soil and do not contain any decaying matter which is necessary  to improve the soil structure. In fact, chemical fertilizers don’t replace many of the trace elements that are gradually depleted by repeated crop plantings, resulting in long-term damage to the soil. As the nutrients are readily available there is a danger of over fertilization with chemical fertilizer which can upset the entire ecosystem whereas organic fertilizers have a slow release capability. There is also a tendency for chemical fertilizers to leach, or filter away from the plants, requiring additional applications.

Devine and Associates Ltd is currently researching and developing innovative technology for the manufacture of organic fertilizers. Please contact the office for further information.

Process diagram showing how organic fertilizers work