Organic fertilizers are a popular option with many clients because they tend to be more environmentally-friendly than synthetic fertilizer.

In this FAQ, Christina Burton, Maintenance Channel Manager for Horizon, explains the benefits and caveats of implementing an organic fertilizer program.

Benefits of Organic Fertilizer Application - Video Transcript

So as we discussed, most often when folks are searching for organic fertilizer, what they really mean is they’re looking for fertilizer with natural components. Again, examples of these might be feather meal, bone meal, manures like bio-solids and poultry waste.

And there’s certainly some benefits, but also some caveats, to using organic fertilizer.

First of those: Public Benefits. From a PR standpoint, again, to be able to be a contractor having that message of kid-friendly, pet-friendly, environmentally-friendly. Definitely has its advantages.

Operationally, organic fertilizer programs over time are certainly more efficient. Less product is actually used. You’re really building up the soil that is, in a sense, feeding the microbes that are feeding the plants. It just becomes this ecosystem running on a lot less.

There are some caveats. The challenges with an organic fertilizer program are that it’s not that immediate result that you’ve been used to with synthetic fertilizers. That snap of green that you’re used to seeing right after you apply.

It takes some time to build up the soil. To get those microbes living off of it. So, often times, this can be up to a year. So it really takes some committing to the program.

In addition, there’s a big variance in the quality of organic inputs.

So things that err on the side of manures (bio-solids, poultry wastes). Those are going to be a little more quickly acting, but they don’t last as long. They’re not as high quality.

Whereas as you get into the bone meals and feathers meals. Those are higher end, but again, take a little longer to get established and get going.

So it’s just some things to know when getting started on an organic program that are very different from traditional synthetic.