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Choices for fertilizers are natural or artificial substances that promote plant growth and productivity. The purpose of fertilizer is to either enhance soil fertility or to replace chemical elements taken from the soil by previous crops. If other factors (such as light, moisture, temperature, and soil structure) are favorable, a soil will provide sufficient amounts of compounds for plants to grow. It may be necessary to add natural or manufactured materials to soils when the fertility is poor. The term fertilizer often refers to inorganic materials that are not lime or gypsum.

backyard sustainability organic compost
Organic Fertilizer

Compost and animal manure are two natural byproducts that can be used as organic fertilizers, while compost is a byproduct of the composting process. It invites worms into the garden to make your plants happy.

backyard sustainability synthetic fertilizer
Artificial or Synthetic Fertilizer

Fertilizers today include one or more of the three essential nutrients for plants: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. The elements sulfur, magnesium, and calcium play a secondary role.

backyard sustainability composting

Compost is a natural organic material that can be added to soil in order to help plants grow. We throw away more than 30 percent of food scraps and yard waste, which could be composted instead. By composting these materials, greenhouse gases such as methane, which are released into the atmosphere, can be reduced.

backyard sustainability

Get kits or plans to build your own greenhouse. They extend the growing season in colder areas. If you can, find old windows clear corrugated panels and as much recycled materials to build your greenhouse. If you aren't handy, you can find one locally to buy.

Composting Ideas

You can compost for true organic fertilizer. Anywhere you live, whether in an apartment or if you have acres, there’s a way to make your own fertilizer.

Companion Planting Benefits

The right companion will not only help your garden grow, but may even keep pests away. Who doesn’t like simple.