Organic vs Chemical Fertilizer

Fertilizer is important for your lawn’s health. Without the proper nutrients, grass can’t grow well or produce adequate green. But there are different types of fertilizers – organic (decomposing materials) and chemical (synthetic mixtures of the necessary nutrients). Below, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of each to help you make an educated decision about which will work best for you and your lifestyle.



Organic fertilizers provide more than just the “essential” nutrients required for healthy growth. They are filled with various other micro nutrients that help to maintain long-term effects. These often last longer than chemical fertilizers because they take longer to break down, therefore providing a slow release of nutrients over several months. This also means it’s much more difficult to over fertilize.

This type of fertilizer also contributes to the soil’s health as well as the inhabitants of the soil such as worms. Over time, continued use of organic fertilizer will actually improve soil. This is especially noticeable in clay or sand soils.


This type of fertilization is considerably slower and less noticeable. Because the nutrients aren’t immediately available, the plants can’t absorb and use them all as quickly. It takes more time for the grass to respond to organic fertilization.

They are also much harder to find for purchase or create yourself. Then, they tend to be a bit more labor intensive to apply than chemical fertilizers. Not to mention, storage is practically impossible in most residential areas. Considerably more organic fertilizer is required to do what a little bit of chemical fertilizer can do.

Organic material only decomposes when the conditions are right, meaning your lawn may not get the nutrients it needs when you want to give them to it. It’s very difficult to properly time application with the plant’s needs because the weather can completely change your plans.



Chemical fertilizers work fast and effectively. They can be used to grow plants in less than ideal soil and still produce high yields – in this case, healthy, thick lawns. It doesn’t take years of soil amendments to get results.

They provide instant access to necessary nutrients and therefore, instant results. Within a matter of days, a sad, pathetic looking patch of grass can begin to green and grow when using chemical fertilizers.

Chemicals are also much easier to apply than organic fertilizer and easy to hire professionals to apply. Purchase is as simple as walking in a garden section of a store or calling a professional lawn care service. Storage takes up much less room as well.

They also can be applied in appropriate doses at needed times to help your lawn grow best. The weather conditions have much less effect on the fertilizer’s effectiveness.


These types of fertilizers can have negative long term effects. Soil can become damaged or depleted of other nutrients that the grass uses to grow. Some chemical fertilizers contain fillers that can have toxins and overuse can cause these toxins to leach into the soil and occasionally, even water sources. This is especially problematic if you are inexperienced with applying fertilizers and overdo it.

Plants can also get used to the ease of growing with synthetic nutrients so readily available for use. If you stop using the fertilizer, the grass may have a hard time coping.


While many people feel passionately one way or the other, looking at your needs and the abilities of each of these types of fertilizers can help you choose which is best for you. And, despite what others may tell you, you can choose both. Applying chemical fertilizers or organic fertilizers won’t destroy your ability to use the other.

Regardless your choice, applying fertilizer of some variety will definitely improve your lawn’s health and increase it’s beauty.



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