Fertilizers are important for plants to grow strong and healthy. They are meant to improve the fertility of the soil and provide nutrients for plants that are often vital to help plants thrive. Typically, fertilizers are added to the soil to help sustain a plant’s growth cycle.

For the most part, fertilizers all focus on the same three macronutrients of Potassium (K), Nitrogen (N), and Phosphorus (P). You’ll see a breakdown of the levels of these macronutrients on the outside of fertilizer packaging, indicating how high in these nutrients that particular fertilizer is.

When it comes to choosing to right fertilizer, however, there are many options to choose from, including organic and non-organic. It can be confusing trying to figure out which is the best choice for you, but this helpful guide will break down the differences between organic and non-organic fertilizer options.

Organic Fertilizers

These days, we see the word “organic” quite often in places like the grocery store. Many people see the word organic as a descriptor that means “better for you,” and in some cases it is. When it comes to fertilizers, however, organic simply means a fertilizer contains carbon and was produced naturally.

Some sources of organic fertilizers include:

  • Mineral sources
  • Animal waste and byproducts
  • Compost
  • Peat
  • Biosolids (treated sewage)

Organic fertilizers are produced through natural decomposition, which makes them easy for plants to digest. These types of fertilizers supply their nutrients to plants in a slow-release method over time, rather than all at once.

Organic fertilizers also tend to be less potent than non-organic fertilizers. They typically will have lower values of the three macronutrients K, P & N. These low levels don’t necessarily mean that they aren’t helpful or nutritious for your plants, however. Having lower nutrient amounts can be beneficial for your plants because it’s easier for them to get the nutrients they need. Remember: more isn’t always better.

Cliff’s Tips

Do not plant Skip Laurel or Leyland Cypress after September.

Non-Organic Fertilizers

Non-organic fertilizers, on the other hand, are not produced naturally. Instead, they come from other sources, such as minerals that have been mined or chemical compounds made by man.

Non-organic fertilizers are usually much stronger and more potent than their organic counterparts. The macronutrient levels for non-organic fertilizers are usually much higher. One of the drawbacks to non-organic fertilizers is that it is possible to overuse them and do more harm than good. Where organic fertilizers deliver nutrients gradually, non-organic fertilizers tend to deliver nutrients all at once.

Fertilizer Applications

In addition to choosing between organic and non-organic fertilizers, you also need to decide which fertilizer application method is right for you and your plants. Here are the four main ways that fertilizer is applied:


Broadcasting is the right choice if you’re planting flowerbeds or fertilizing your lawn, vegetable gardens, or tree areas. To broadcast fertilizer, you spread it across the entire area you want to help. You can use several tools for this process to make it easier.

Why You Should Use Professional Fertilizing Services

Growing plants is a delicate business and choosing a fertilizer can go badly wrong if you’re not careful. With Clifford Suppa and Jhesse Jones at Precision Maintenance, our experts are trained to assess your situation and recommend the best fertilizer and application method for your plants and desired outcome. We’re committed to providing top-class service and are passionate about plants and helping them grow. We proudly serve the New York communities of Rockville Centre, Baldwin, Oceanside, and Wantagh New York.

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