abono orgánico

What is ORGANIC fertilizer? how to prepare it? and much more

What is organic fertilizer? it is a more friendly and gentle way to offer plants the nutrients they need. Organic fertilizers come from plants, animals or minerals and provide a wide variety of nutrients to enrich the soil ecosystem.

The trend now is to return to the customs of our ancestors where chemical fertilizers did not exist, where the land was fertile and where food did not significantly affect people’s health and we also took care of the planet. Composting allows you to maintain a nutrient-enriched soil, beneficial plants and insects, where plants and crops experience a balanced and nurtured ecosystem that functions as nature intended, with microbes and fungi slowly releasing nutrients to plants and giving them strength. necessary to protect against pathogens and harmful pests.

Organic fertilizer what is it?

Organic fertilizers are fertilizers that are derived from animal matter such as dried and powdered blood, ground bone, crushed shells, finely ground fish, animal faeces such as manure, guano, human faeces, and plant matter such as vegetable, fruit and vegetable peelings. egg, in addition to crop residues; they may also contain rock and wood minerals. Although inorganic or synthetic fertilizers may include some organic ingredients, the fundamental difference is that they feed only the plant without enriching the soil, and can promote a toxic accumulation of salts in the soil if applied in excess, which can affect organisms. from the soil, such as earthworms, degrading the health and ecosystem of the soil.

The proportions of fertilizers are determined in amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. These nutrients are critical for plant strength, aerial storage, root development, and overall plant health. Additionally, plants require calcium, magnesium and sulfur to perform photosynthesis and transform, with the help of sunlight, water and carbon dioxide into hydrogen, oxygen and carbon, which they convert into their food. Micronutrients that are also vital for plant growth are: boron, iron, copper, manganese, molybdenum, zinc.

The nutrient content of organic fertilizers depends on the source materials, for example, materials that biodegrade easily include better sources of nutrients and also generate increases in bacterial biomass that carry out the decomposition process with the help of moisture.

In general, organic fertilizers are slowly converted into nutrients by soil microbes and other life forms that live in the soil, which is why they are considered slow release to plants. This slow process will continue for many years, for example in manure and compost nitrogen is released for about 4 years. This constant release of nitrogen is the result of microbes eating and digesting large molecules and converting them into nutrients that plants can absorb; unlike synthetic fertilizers in which its nutrients are used up quite quickly and do not provide long-term food for microbes and therefore for plants.

How to compost

There is a wide variety of organic fertilizers that can be tailored to the needs of your soil and plants. Before teaching you how to make organic compost, we will make a short description of the compost categories according to their origin:

Plant-based fertilizers

Plant-based fertilizers have a faster decomposition process than other organic compounds. They provide soil conditioning that actual nutrients, allow to add drainage and moisture retention to poor soils eg alfalfa meal or compost. Other plant-based fertilizers are: cottonseed meal, molasses, legume cover crops, manure cover crops, seaweed, tea, etc.

Animal fertilizers

cow manure

Animal-based fertilizers, such as manure, bone meal, or blood meal, deliver a lot of nitrogen to the soil. They are effective in keeping plants bushy and promoting great growth in the first few weeks of planting. Other fertilizers of animal origin are: fish emulsion, milk, urea (urine), manure tea, etc.

Mineral fertilizers

abono mineral

Mineral fertilizers add nutrients to the soil, increase or decrease the pH level according to the needs of the soil, for healthy plant growth. Some of these types of organic fertilizers are: Epsom salt, calcium, magnesium and sulfur.

And now yes, to what we came in this chapter. Making natural organic compost is simple, cheap and most of the time, it uses ingredients that we have at home and often ends up in the trash, such as food scraps, grass, plant or animal remains. We will mention only a few fertilizers.

Compost tea

  • In a 5 gallon bucket or pail, add 1/3 good quality finished compost.
  • Fill the bucket or bucket with water to within a few inches of the top.
  • Let the mixture soak for 3 or 4 days.
  • Stir the mixture frequently.
  • Use a porous cloth to strain the mixture and put the remaining compost in the garden or compost pile.
  • Dilute the liquid organic fertilizer obtained in a ratio of 10 water and 1 compost tea.
  • With a sprinkler, spray the mixture obtained on the leaves of the plants.

Plantain or banana peels

Banana or banana peels have potassium, a vital element for plant growth. Pour the banana peels into a hole before planting to make them easier to compost. This helps improve soil fertility, for example, roses use too much potassium, which is why this fertilizer promotes the generation of larger rose flowers. In conjunction with banana peels, use Epsom salt to make rose flowers a more vibrant color.

Although it sounds unpleasant, urine has a high nitrogen content, and more phosphorus and potassium than many other fertilizers.

Human urine

In a plastic bucket or bucket, mix 1 cup of urine with 8 cups of water. Use 2 cups of this mixture around the perimeter of each small plant. For medium plants pour 4 cups and for large plants pour about 6 cups. This can be done every eight or ten days.

composted organic manure

abono compostado

When composting is mentioned, there are many ways to do it, use it, and try it. You already know that each crop or plant is different and has specific needs. In addition, depending on the ingredients, the space you have, your lifestyle and other factors, one may suit you more than another:

Aerobic vs. anaerobic

Some composting processes use aerobic bacteria that require oxygen to break down the ingredients in a bin or composter, so frequent mixing of the waste is required to add fresh air and keep the compost pile moist so that the bacteria remain active, without there is too much moisture for the compost pile not to lose oxygen. Dairy products are not added to the composter since the bacteria that decompose these products also extract oxygen.

Other techniques, such as Bokashi-type composting, use anaerobic bacteria that do not require oxygen to create compost, so they do not require turning the compost either. For this reason, to make this type of composting, a closed container without ventilation is needed. Ingredients prohibited in the above method, such as dairy, meat, and oils, are welcome in a Bokashi container.

Animal Products vs. Vegan

Products derived from animals, such as manure, feathers, blood and bones, contain a large amount of nutrients and minerals that promote plant growth. The high nitrogen content allows the compost pile to be heated to the right temperatures to kill any lingering pests and plant diseases.

Vegan composting avoids the use of ingredients of animal origin, since they are against some agricultural systems, in addition to not consuming meat or other animal derivatives, they choose not to include these ingredients in their compost piles. The vegan compost pile can be increased in temperature with alfalfa, canola, cotton or soy vegetable meals.

Neutral versus acid

The acidity or alkalinity of the finished compost is affected by the ingredients with which it was generated. The vast majority of plants require a pH close to neutral (when the soil pH is between 6.5 and 7). Those who prefer neutral composting are careful not to add too many ingredients that excessively raise or lower the pH.

But also, there are some plants, like azaleas, rhododendrons, and blueberries, that require acidic soil to grow. To achieve an acidic pH, an ericaceous (plant family) compost mix should be made for plants that like acid.

Organic fertilizer benefits

Below we will describe some of the most outstanding benefits of organic fertilizer.

  • Soil enrichment. As organic fertilizers decompose, they release nutrients, improve soil quality and increase its potential to retain water and nutrients.
  • Low risk. Being slow-release fertilizers, it is almost impossible to over-fertilize and degrade the plants. In addition, the risk of toxic storage of chemicals and salts is minimal, which can be deadly to plants.
  • Green stamp. Organic fertilizers are ecological, renewable, sustainable and biodegradable. The organic waste that is normally collected by the garbage truck is reduced to almost zero, which prevents the production of greenhouse gases.
  • Economic. You can make them yourself through composting, or find cheaper sources, such as local dairy farms, which may market composted manure.

Organic fertilizer prices

In Colombia, the price of organic fertilizer is between $240,000 and $360,000 per ton on average.

Organic fertilizer pdf

Here you can download all the information you found in this post so you can have it at hand and consult it whenever you need it.

Other frequently asked questions about organic fertilizer that we want to share with you

Organic fertilizer or compost?

There really is no difference between the two terms, natural composting is a type of organic fertilizer that is generated through the natural decomposition of waste of animal or vegetable origin, normally in the presence of oxygen by the action of microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi or worms Depending on the type of waste used, normally from 100 kilograms around 20 kg of organic compost can be generated.

Organic fertilizer in Colombia. Any particularity?

According to the Colombian Association of Composters (Asocompost), they indicate that in Colombia the use of organic fertilizers is not as massive as one would think. The country generates between 900,000 and 950,000 tons of organic fertilizers, compost is 90% of the total, while the remaining 10% is vermicompost (which results from the practice of vermiculture). This amount is minimal compared to the more than 7.5 million cultivated hectares that Colombia has. It is also emphasized that more than 50% of the production of organic fertilizers is used in African palm and sugar cane crops, for which they turn out to be the most benefited in the country.
Although organic fertilizer represents great benefits, the lack of penetration in the country compared to Brazil and Argentina is due to the lack of state support, research and knowledge for the vast majority of producers and peasants, and also to the great diffusion that organic fertilizers have. chemical fertilizers.
At this time it is vital to increase the production of organic fertilizers for use in local and export crops, since, for example, the export of coffee to countries like Europe requires 100% organic products, it must be demonstrated that real organic fertilizer was used for its certification.

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