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Organic vs. Commercial Fertilizers

By Joe Julian, Colorado State University Cooperative Extension, Horticulture

Organic fertilizers are not more nutritious than commercial plant foods. Plants cannot distinguish between organic and inorganic fertilizers. Usually, organic fertilizers are lower in nutrient value than are inorganic, commercial fertilizers. If all nutrient amounts are equal -- if, for example, a 50-pound bag of fertilizer, organic or inorganic, contains 20 percent of nitrogen fertilizer, and if environmental conditions are the same -- you would see no difference in the results from one or the other.

Photograph of Frank the Banty Rooster courtesy of Curtis Utley

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Date last revised: 01/05/2010