Does organic fertilizer expire? Do I need to buy a new bag of fertilizer for my garden plants each spring even if I already have enough from last year? If you’ve ever wondered if fertilizer goes bad, you’re not the only one. When it comes to preserving fertilizer for numerous seasons, there are a number of strategies that can be used. In this blog, we also have an article about best organic fertilizer on amazon that you might want to see.
What Is Organic Fertilizer?
Organic fertilizer is made from natural sources such as compost and manure. It provides nutrients to plants through a slow-release process. This means that less material needs to be added than with other types of fertilizers.
Organic fertilizers contain plant- or animal-based materials that are either a byproduct or end product of naturally occurring processes, such as animal manure and composted organic materials.”Xiangying Wei, Journal researcher from Role of Controlled and Slow Release Fertilizers in Fruit Crop Nutrition
Why use organic fertilizer?
Pesticides and synthetic chemical fertilizers may harm our environment. The chemicals used to make fertilizer can pollute groundwater. They can also hurt our bodies by causing cancer or weakening immunity. On top of this, they may damage soil fertility, which could mean you have to add more money and time into your garden to get good results.
Organic fertilizers are naturally available mineral sources that contain moderate amount of plant essential nutrients. They are capable of mitigating problems associated with synthetic fertilizers.”Hitha Shaji, Journal Researcher from Organic fertilizers as a route to controlled release of nutrients
So, Does organic fertilizer expire?
Typically, fertilizer packages do not include an expiration date. Thus, does fertilizer deteriorate? Fertilizer will not spoil if stored properly. At the end of the summer, when it may appear that gardening activities are complete, take care to properly store excess fertilizer. Additionally, there are some potential difficulties to consider if you plan to use the same fertilizer next spring.
How Much Should I Apply?
When applying organic fertilizer, it’s important to know how much you need to apply per season. Some varieties of organic fertilizer will only work once during the growing season. Other varieties will work for two or three times. If you’re unsure of what kind you need, ask your local nursery or garden center.
How Do I Store Organic Fertilizer?
A common misconception about organic fertilizer is that it spoils after a few months. When properly stored, however, organic fertilizer lasts at least six months. To extend its shelf life, don’t leave packages open to air or moisture. Store them in an area away from direct sunlightAvoid storing fertilizer under heat lamps, because these will cause decomposition.
The best way to keep fertilizer fresh is to rotate your bags every 6-8 weeks. You can do this easily by switching out one bag of fertilizer for another at the same rate. Rotating your fertilizer allows the plant roots to absorb all the benefits without any loss.
Which Organic Fertilizer Works Best?
In general, gardeners are advised to use granular fertilizers like fish emulsion, seaweed meal, bloodmeal, bone meal, rock phosphate and kelp extract. These provide the most nutrients quickly. Composted materials like mushroom compost, peat moss, worm castings and coffee grounds offer slower releases of nutrients.
Mushroom compost is a great additive to soil, but be careful not to overapply it as it can burn root growth. Worm castings and peat moss have been shown to improve pH levels in certain soils. However, these additives require specific amounts of time to be absorbed fully.
Are There Any Side Effects To Using Organic Fertilizers?
While using organic fertilizers does minimize environmental impact, it doesn’t eliminate its own risks. Pesticide residues and harmful chemicals like nitrates and phosphates remain in organic fertilizers. Although it’s recommended to rotate your fertilizer, some pesticides can build up on roots and soil over time.
Some people are allergic to certain natural ingredients found in organic fertilizers. As a result, they often experience rashes and breathing problems.
Should I Switch To Synthetic Fertilizer?
Many people think that synthetic fertilizer is better than organic fertilizer. While conventional fertilizers contain many beneficial elements, they also rely on toxic chemicals. Synthetic fertilizers are produced by adding nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and trace minerals. Conventional fertilizers provide fast nutrient release; however, they don’t stay in the ground long enough to support healthy plant growth.
On top of that, synthetic fertilizers are known to increase crop yields. In addition, they aren’t affected by extreme weather conditions. However, if you want to avoid the use of chemicals, talk to your local nursery about alternatives. Many stores sell organic fertilizers that won’t affect pests or promote weeds.