How Does Waste help Plants Grow?
In this context, waste refers to organic materials that decompose to form organic fertilizers. The advocacy of organic farming has tied the use of waste to produce chemical-free fertilizers. Many state departments of agriculture support this move and that is why many organic farms and ranches are being established worldwide. Organic fertilizers help plants in multiple ways, whether it is for large-scale or small-scale farming.
Organic fertilizer is produced through digesting remains of food materials or vegetation that are consumed by animals. It passes nutrients to the soil so that plants can take them up. Organic fertilizer loosens compact clay soil, tightens loose sandy soil, and improves soil’s permeability. Since it is a processed organic material, organic fertilizer is a better alternative to chemical fertilizers for enhancing the garden soil.
It is not a must to use a processed organic fertilizer as the food waste materials generated in your kitchen can be used directly in the garden. You just need to decompose them first and then transfer the rotting sludge to the garden. In many developed countries, municipalities are encouraging homeowners to have garbage disposals. These are appliances used to grind food waste materials and then flush them down the drain. The liquid waste is transported to a sewage treatment plant.
Just before going to the benefits of fertilizers to plants, allow me to explain briefly the two of the many benefits of having a small garbage disposal at home.
First, it helps you to save money. A garbage disposal reduces drainage issues, which in turn prevents frequent plumbing costs. There are well-designed garbage disposals that can grind some harder food materials and flush them down the drain pipes without causing clogs. In case blockage occurs, the disposal can help you to unclog without calling a plumber!
Second, it eliminates bad odors from your kitchen. With a garbage disposal, you don’t need to store most of the waste in the bin. It ensures no food waste is left to rot, which causes a bad odor whenever you enter the kitchen. A disposal’s motor is capable of grinding and flushing the waste into the drain pipe.
You should note that the use of garbage disposals helps sewage treatment plants to generate useful products from the waste. One of the products is methane that can be used as cooking fuel. On the other hand, the compact residue left (sludge) is rich in nutrients and beneficial bacteria, which can help plants if used as fertilizer. In other words, most of the organic fertilizers nowadays come from the sewage treatment plants.
Benefits of Organic Fertilizers to Plants
Improve plant growth
The basic benefit of organic fertilizers is to enhance the quality of soil by adding more nutrients. The fundamental ingredients in organic fertilizers include phosphate, phosphorous, and nitrogen. Nitrogen, in particular, is quite essential for plant growth. Even though nitrogen is in plenty in the atmosphere, its natural form is not readily fit to be utilized by plants. So, organic fertilizers provide ready nitrogen that can be taken up by plants without causing burning effects in the roots. Also, the nitrogen contained in organic fertilizers does not harm the useful microorganism in the soil.
A healthy plant is capable of resisting some diseases. However, it is likely to suffer from stunted growth if it lacks enough nutrients because diseases carrying bacteria can easily interfere with its growth. When organic fertilizers are supplied in adequate quantities, they provide plants with sufficient nutrients. This helps plants to growth healthy, hence attaining strong ‘immune’ to resist certain diseases.
Prevents invasion by parasites
Just like diseases, a healthy plant is likely to prevent invasion by parasites. Parasites usually take advantage of plant injuries, and then they find their way into the plant’s system. If a plant is supplied with adequate nutrients it needs, the tissues grow strongly and can repair injuries as soon as possible before parasites invade. Therefore, organic fertilizers have the required nutrients for the plants to grow healthy.
Prevent scorching effects
Scorching occurs on the plant leaves. This problem is neither caused by parasites nor diseases. It is usually brought by severe dehydration, especially if the soil doesn’t have enough moisture content. As we mentioned earlier, organic fertilizers help the soil to retain moisture. So, organic fertilizers prevent the problem of leaf scorch.