Organic Fertiliser vs. Chemical Fertiliser : What you need to know

The future of our planet lies in our most precious resource- our soil.
 
Increasingly, growers, consumers, and environmentalists are considering or being lobbied to pursue more sustainable farming practices that prioritise the health of our earth and people. 
 
At the root of this discussion lies the comparison of the differences between chemical and organic fertilisers and how they work at regenerating and transforming our soil toward a more fertile future.
 
To assess the advantages and disadvantages of organic fertiliser vs. chemical fertiliser, a deeper understanding of their composition, manufacture, application, nutrient content, cost, and environmental impact, will help address those ponderings of ‘Is chemical fertiliser better than organic’ or ‘Can organic fertiliser replace chemical fertiliser?’
 

Understanding Organic Fertiliser

 
Organic fertiliser comprises natural matter sourced from plant or animal residue, waste or byproducts.
 
There are infinite organic fertiliser options, each in varying nutrient content, shape or form, depending on region and territory.

Some more common organic fertiliser options include animal manure (horse, cow, chicken), green manure (plant residue), compost, mulch, bone meal, fish emulsion, slurry, etc.  
 

The Benefits of Organic Fertiliser


The distinct advantage of organic fertilisers over chemical fertilisers is that they promote symbiosis in the soil by fostering a mutual relationship between microorganisms and plants. They enhance nutrient cycling and overall ecosystem health. Their care extends beyond just nutrient supply - they actively work at regenerating soil structure and fertility. 
 

Eco-Friendly


Organic fertilisers are entirely natural and sustainably sourced from renewable resources. An extension of nature, they are biodegradable and eco-friendly.  Organic fertilisers help develop plant and soil robustness, often offering help in pest management and eliminating the need for pesticides. 
 

No Toxic Chemicals


Chemically free and made up of naturally decomposing plant or animal matter, organic chemicals harbour no nasty toxic surprises of chemicals, acids, salts, or metal traces. 

Slow Release Of Nutrients


Organic fertilisers work in tandem with nature. With the help of colonies of microorganisms, organic matter is gradually converted into rich dark humus. With limited applications, plants receive complete nourishment at leisure, versus a chemical fertiliser force-feed. The extended release of primary and secondary nutrients, such as calcium, sulphur, magnesium and other trace nutrients, enables plants to enjoy a stress-free, stable and season-long availability of nutrients without the risk of over-fertilising.
 

Improved Soil Structure

 
Aided by beneficial microbes and fungi and the presence of earthworms, organic fertilisers actively work on positively transforming the soil structure for enhanced interaction between the nutrients, water, and air by forming stable aggregates during nutrient breakdown. The increased water retention also avoids soil crusting or erosion.
 

The Disadvantages Of Organic Fertiliser


Organic fertilisers favour environmental and soil well-being, relying strongly on natural elements. This requires patience. Their results are more long-term gains vs short-term crop results. Organic fertiliser nutrients are not precise and can vary from one type of fertiliser to the next unless you have specially formulated organic solutions.
 

A Slow Start To See Results


Organic fertiliser relies on microorganisms, time, and weather for the natural decomposition process and nutrient release while replenishing soil fertility and stability. This means nutritional uptake by plants and growth results will take slightly longer than the ‘rapid growth’ method by chemical fertilisers. 
 

Understanding Chemical Fertiliser

 
Chemical fertilisers are inorganic and synthetic, and have been commercially manufactured involving a chemical process of treating non-renewable sources and other synthetic materials. 
 
Produced either as soluble granules, powder, or in liquid form, they are typically applied to the soil or sprayed onto plants.

They aim to provide formulated doses of concentrated essential nutrients focussed on boosting plant growth.
 
They require careful management for responsible use as they are known to cause soil degradation, environmental pollution, and damage.
 
 

The Benefits Of Chemical Fertiliser

 
Chemical fertilisers have been primarily designed for maximum time and cost efficiency. Easily acquired commercially, they have been specially formulated with precisely measured nutrient ratios for targeted fast growth and high-yield results.
 

Cost Effective


Contrary to most organic fertilisers, chemical fertilisers are clearly labelled with their complete list of synthetic ingredients and chemically formulated nutrient ratio. Generally, they contain more nutrients per weight than the same quantity of natural organic fertilisers. Industrially produced in bulk, with a longer shelf life, chemical fertilisers are considered easier to access, more affordable, and cost-effective in the short term.

 

Can Show Quicker Results



Highly soluble chemical fertilisers dissolve faster than organic fertilisers. They can be absorbed rapidly by the plant roots or leaves and quickly work their way through the plant metabolism to boost growth. The results are visible in just a few weeks or even days.  

 

The Disadvantages Of Chemical Fertiliser


Chemical fertilisers lack organic matter that stimulates biodiversity and beneficial colonies of microorganisms and worms, which actively contribute to the soil’s fertility and physical and biological condition.

The contained chemicals cause short and long-term disasters during typical agricultural runoffs, resulting in environmental pollution, soil degradation, suppressed microbial activity, crop dependency, nutrient imbalances, destruction of plants and livestock, and contaminated waterways until eventually landing up in our food chain.
 

Requires More Frequent Application

 
Chemical fertilisers offer plants a ‘quick fix’, often delivering more than the plant can actively use. These leftover fertiliser particles filter or get washed away during irrigation, leaving little nutrients in the soil for sustained plant nourishment. This necessitates repeated fertiliser applications, continuing a cycle of dissipation and build-up of errant chemicals.
 

Can Over-Fertilise & Cause PH Imbalances


Residual chemicals, amassed through repeated application, exceed natural thresholds and cannot be naturally regulated by the environment’s flora and fauna. Excessive minerals cause plant damage by ‘fertiliser burn’ or ‘root burn’. Prolonged chemical fertilisation, especially nitrogen, destroys the balance of nature and enders the topsoil acidic while permanently altering the soil’s PH levels.
 

Harmful To The Environment & Wildlife


Chemical fertilisers cause detrimental effects on farmland and environmental biodiversity: from wildlife ingesting contaminated soil particles to stunting microorganisms and destroying nitrogen-fixing bacteria. Excess levels of nitrogen seep into waterways, killing off the fish and creating ‘dead zones’  that lack marine life.
 

Limited Nutrients

Chemical fertilisers commonly focus on the three main mineral macronutrients, nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (P), to boost plant growth. They generally lack the extended diverse secondary micronutrients, like magnesium, calcium, carbon, copper, zinc, boron, and chloride, which plants need and usually extract naturally with organic fertilisers. 
 

Toxic Buildup


Chemical fertilisers contain harmful acids, such as sulfuric and hydrochloric acid, used during their nitrogen and phosphorus production process. These acids and other chemicals disperse into the surroundings, causing a toxic build-up of heavy metals such as arsenic, cadmium, and lead, which pollute the ground and find their way into foods.

 

Supersoil's Solution To Organic Fertiliser


Understanding the intricacies of how fertilisers impact our soil’s health, the nutritional value of our food, the survival of our ecosystem, and the health of our global population also helps answer the question: organic fertilisers vs. organic fertilisers: which is better?

Organic fertilisers foster plant growth while enriching soil health and structure, while chemical fertilisers stimulate plant growth at the expense of soil health. 

Individual farming needs and situations, logistical preferences, and personal values will help shape choices and decisions around safeguarding our soil, enhancing its fertility, and creating food security for future generations to come.

Can organic fertilisers replace chemical fertilisers? We believe we can.


Supersoil has ushered in a new era of sustainable farming practices, providing many benefits to both farmers and the environment. By enhancing soil health, promoting sustainable waste management, boosting crop productivity, reducing chemical inputs and aiding in climate change mitigation, Supersoil proves itself to be a powerful ally in the quest for a greener and more sustainable agricultural future. As farmers embrace this revolutionary practice, they take a significant step toward cultivating a healthier planet for future generations.

It’s never too late to get our hands dirty and dig up a new plan that gives our earth the best chance for a greener, thriving future.  
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100% Organic Certified

Supersoil is certified by the Irish Organic Association ( Ref: 8147 ) as a 100% organic and natural product. It is acceptable for use under EU organic systems and is also suitable for global export.

Supersoil's elite microbes are not genetically modified in any way while the growth booster is a 100% natural product that’s the equivalent of 20 tons of organic compost.

As Supersoil contains no animal by-products it is suitable for vegan farming and growing systems. Supersoil can also be used by non-organic farmers to dramatically reduce their use of chemical fertilisers.