"Organic” fertilizers are composed of dried or composted human, animal, or plant waste, including manures, blood and bone meal, feathers, fish by-products, and even sewage sludge. Some fertilizer manufacturers will put the words “organic fertilizer” on bags that have only a small percentage of “natural organic” material in the formulation, leading you to believe it is completely organic. If you desire to purchase organic fertilizer at a garden center, ensure you’re buying 100% organic. Don’t be fooled by the label headings - check out the ingredients on the label. Wagner uses a 100% organic corn gluten based fertilizer in all our organic programs and now we use our proprietary 100% organic bio-stimulant spray in every program to enhance lawn growth and health.
Some organic fertilizers tend to have an unpleasant smell. After application, you’ll notice an odor for a few days, especially if there is no rainfall. Watering may help dissipate the smell, but if you plan on spending some time on the lawn after application, be prepared to put up with an odor.
Also, because their actions depend on microbial activity, organic fertilizers take longer to act. And finally, they are relatively costly to produce, and demand is relatively low, hence organic fertilizers are relatively costly - compared to synthetic fertilizers. There are several positives in utilizing organic fertilizers. The first obvious benefit is to the environment. Since there are no synthetic materials in a 100% organic fertilizer, when you use these products, you’re not adding anything synthetic to the environment.
Secondly, research has shown that soil microbial activity (the activity of the microorganisms) is very healthy for lawns. Since organic fertilizer is high in microorganisms, the microbial activity is naturally increased. This can be beneficial in disease control, thatch control, and even insect control.
Thirdly, microbial activity increases aerobic (oxygen intake) activity in the root zone of grass, effectively helping the grass roots to breath easier, making it healthier. Some turf grass researchers are suggesting it is important to renew organic matter in the soil of home lawns to keep the grass healthy.
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