The scientists will tell you that there is no evidence to suggest that yields will be significantly heavier or that fruit and vegetables will actually taste any better if the plants are fed with organic nutrients instead of inorganic ones. And of course, they are quite right. An organic fertilizer is derived from something that once lived. For instance ‘Blood, Fish and Bone’ is precisely what it says; but dried and crunched up. Farmyard manure should need no explanation! Some liquid fertilizers/feeds are derived from seaweed. Generally speaking, they are slower acting than synthetic (man-made) fertilizers - no bad thing - and usually have a beneficial effect upon the soil, as well as feeding the plants. ‘Blood Fish & Bone’ is my favourite; the dried blood soon dissolves ready for the plant to feed upon. The fish is the next to rot down, followed by the crushed bone. A veritable three course meal for the plants to feed upon! Bone meal is one of the best fertilizers for long term growth in shrub borders and flower beds. Great for fruit crops as well. When gardening there are many practical benefits of going organic. For example, using organic soil amendments, such as compost, help improve the overall quality of the soil by increasing organic matter and microbial activity. However in planters, the choice is not so clear.
Organic fertilizers break down more slowly than chemical ones, which may be a drawback if you want plants that will grow quickly and put on a big display for a single season. Also, many organic fertilizers are derived from fish, blood or bone meal and the smell is not to everyones taste. Plants will take their nutrients in the form of the same chemical elements whether they are organically or inorganically derived. Organic gardeners do not suggest that plants actually take up different
chemicals if they are grown naturally. What is true is that the chemicals in organic fertilizers will not harm the soil or its many inhabitants; the inorganic ones will. In-deed, organic feeding- actually benefits soil micro-organisms as well as plants. There are several compound fertilizers that are described as "semi-organic" or "organic-ally based". These may be more powerful than the completely inorganic equivalent but they are not the real thing. The main difference is generally in the potash content, which, in "semi- organic" fertilizers is sometimes supplemented with potassium sulphate. Biologically, plants cannot tell the difference between a fertilizer derived from a natural mineral or animal or one made in a laboratory. Whichever you choose read the instructions carefully.