What is Organic Fertilization?
Strict organic growing requires the use of only mined minerals or naturally occurring organic substances as fertilizing materials. These materials may not be synthetic or chemically treated and they must also be free of any toxic, synthetic, or chemically reacting materials.
Natural or "organic" fertilizers fit into two distinct categories: mined minerals and natural organic compounds.
- The mined minerals include sulfate of potash, various forms of phosphate rock, rock dusts, gypsum, sodium nitrate and other natural minerals.
- The natural organic products include compost, manures, seaweeds, and natural high protein feed products, such as, blood, bone, meat, feather and fish meal. Also included in this category are cottonseed and soybean meal.
The main difference between "organic" fertilizers and commercial fertilizers is that organic fertilizers are insoluble and release slowly into the soil, generally through microbial activity. Commercial fertilizers are usually composed of various salt forms of nitrate, ammonia, or phosphate which are all very soluble. There are a few soluble mineral "organic" products, such as sodium nitrate and potash. Sodium nitrate and potash are also considered salts. In addition, some manure or guano fertilizers contain a high percentage of soluble nutrients.