Sunday, January 4, 2009
Organic Fertilizers Help Maintain Natural Balance Traditional fertilization practices have certainly caused surface and groundwater pollution, but banning the application of certain nutrients is not the answer. The application of both nitrogen and phosphorus can be problematic. Chemical fertilizers that are highly concentrated cause water pollution even when they are applied at the recommended rates when followed too soon by a heavy rain or too much irrigation. The answer to this dilemma is to start using more sustainable practices and natural products, such as AGGRAND fertilizers. The recycling of nutrients through the return of grass clippings (using a mulching mower) stimulates soil biological activity and supplies at least two pounds of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet per year without causing any pollution. The application of low levels of AGGRAND fertilizers that contain fish, kelp humates, plus adding corn gluten meal, stimulates the proliferation of microbes and earthworms, which readily fix these forms nutrients before they ever get into lakes, rivers or streams. As the creatures in the soil multiply, they excrete nutrients and die are eaten and digested and excreted by other organisms, which releases nutrients slowly as plants need them. An actual comparison of two types of fertilizer, AGGRAND 4-3-3 and one that is chemical, illustrates the difference. One homeowner applies 30-5-10 fertilizer to his or lawn at 20 pounds per 5,000 square feet a neighbor applies one quart of AGGRAND 4-3-3 (2.3 pounds) of fish-kelp humate fertilizer per 5,000 square feet. The natural fertilizer puts .0184 pound and .013 pound of phosphate per 1,000 square feet the soil. The naturally fertilized lawn is more drought and pest resistant and uses water so it needs less frequent irrigation. AGGRAND fertilizer stimulates biological activity, which creates stable soil aggregates enabling the roots to go deeper and become better developed, keeping nutrients in the root zone. The chemical fertilizer puts 1.2 pounds. of nitrogen and .2 pound of phosphate per 1,000 square feet into the soil (65 times more nitrogen and 15 times more phosphate than the natural fertilizer). The chemically fertilized lawn and/or pasture is water hungry and needs constant irrigation because the grass relies on the chemical to supply the nutrients. The chemical toxifies the soil, inhibiting biological activity, which results in compacted soil and an unhealthy root environment. Most of the nutrients are free to fl ow over the compacted surface into the surface water or past the restricted root zone into the ground water. Research shows that up to 96 percent of high analysis chemical fertilizers are not taken up by plants. Fertilization is not inherently bad, but the type and amount of fertilization is the key to producing healthy lawns and pastures and eliminating water pollution. Remember, nitrogen and phosphate are present in all ecosystems, but nature knows how to hold them and make them readily available when they are needed.