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Organic and Synthetic Nutrients

Growers right now are crazy about organic nutrients. In tandem with the whole hype of having a healthy lifestyle, growers and users alike look for produce that is grown in an organic way. In general, the meaning of “organic” in most products in today’s time is that it does not contain the things that we do not like: pesticides, hormones, antibiotics or any harmful toxins. With this in mind, does this mean that synthetic nutrients are totally forgotten, gone, kaput? Well, not really. As early as now, the word “organic” shouldn’t automatically make that product safe. In actuality, however, there are actually benefits when using synthetic nutrients together with organic ones!

But first, how do organic nutrients even work? They generally make up the organic part of nitrogen in the soil. This kind of nitrogen is released slowly to the roots and is consumed by the microbes which create nitrates and ammonium. These are variants of nitrogen which is used by the plants. The nitrates and ammonium then become part of the organic part of the soil and starts the cycle of feeding the healthy soil bacteria. This will then lead to having a lot of beneficial microbes in the soil which helps in the digestion of the plant. This typical process usually takes 3-8 weeks plus depending on a lot more variables (which is actually pretty slow, by the way!). Additionally, as you may or may not know, plants needs both macronutrients, micronutrients, and other trace nutrients. Organic nutrients often Do NOT include micronutrients and may not also contain all of the needed macronutrients.

Next, how do synthetic nutrients work? In common practice, synthetic fertilizers may contain inorganic minerals or is processed so that plants can take it up faster even though that the nutrients themselves are actually extracted from organic materials themselves. Synthetic nutrients can also come from synthetic sources such as treating ammonia with sulfuric acid to create ammonium sulfate. These minerals are in the form of the salt which plants can take in easily.

Why should we combine both organic and synthetic nutrients? Well for starters, there are a lot of synthetic nutrients that can be included or added in your organic nutrients in order to complete the missing nutrients. As stated above, there are some organic fertilizers or nutrients that do not really give out all the needed macronutrients and totally skips out on micronutrients. This alone should be a reason to consider using some sort of remedy in the form of synthetic nutrients. A lack in some of the macro and micronutrients will heavily affect the growth of the plant. For example, the blooming or flowering stage will require a lot of phosphorus, a macronutrient. If the organic fertilizer does not contain this, the plant will not develop as full as it should be. Another example would be the micronutrients that might be lacking in organic fertilizers. Zinc, iron, and sulfur, all micronutrients, plays a big role in health and taste of the plant and the fruit! However, there should be some sort of consideration when using both; have too many synthetic nutrients together with too little organic nutrients will not be good for your plant in terms of the nutrients in the soil. Without this, healthy bacteria and fungi will not form which will ultimately affect the growth of the plant. Having a good amount of both will firstly fill out the missing nutrients while promoting healthy microorganism activity and growth in the soil both of which helps in creating a great crop! Take note, though, there are a lot more factors to consider when opting to use both synthetic and organic nutrients. One of this factor is the timing of the usage for both; too much and too fast nitrogen release during the infancy of the plant will not support the growth of the roots.

Using both synthetic and organic nutrients for your plants should be considered by any grower. The pay-off is actually very great if used correctly, so if you do consider using them both, be sure to be well informed to reduce the chances of it harming your crops instead of boosting it!

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