Ask the Expert: Make Your Organic-Based Programs Successful

We’ve asked John Huber, Central’s Organic and Sustainable Products Manager, to share his insight on how to make your organic-based programs successful. Read below:

Each year, more than 60 million tons of fertilizers are applied to the soil in the United States. More than 50 million tons are being applied to agriculture, while professional landscapers and golf courses only apply around 4 million tons. Developing countries in the global community have a much greater dependency on fertilizers. China for example, uses more than four times the global average of fertilizers per hectare, per year. The increase in demand from these developing countries can cause price increases and instability in the market because of shortages versus demand. This leaves the professional landscaper with challenges that are not always easy to overcome. Beyond that, it can cause serious consequences for agriculture and the environment—including contamination of water an acidification of the soil.

So, what does this all mean? It’s time to evaluate organic-based fertilizers.

Now we know that organic fertilizers gets a bad rap and, in the past many 100% organic programs have failed. This has to do with how organic fertilizers manufacturers have promoted a more-is-better approach. This over application approach is what causes the failure. It does not take into account the needed balance of carbon to nitrogen.

This balanced ratio is critical to the health of the plant because carbon and nitrogen are interdependent on one another in the mineralization process. When fertilizers containing organic matter are not applied properly, efficiency is lost and results are unsatisfactory. This is why these 100% organic programs have failed in the past. And beyond that, 100% organic can be very costly.

An organic-based fertilizer program is different. And, it can help your business be successful.

  1. Decades of university research have proven organic matter is vital to plant health and required to maintain a healthy, living soil. Balance is key to maintaining the health of the plant. If the beneficial microbial populations fall below a certain threshold and pathogens are provided with optimal conditions, diseases and deficiencies occur and plants. Organic-based fertilizers will help you maintain a healthy balance.
  2. Organic fertilizer materials are not subject to the volatility of the larger fertilizer markets, so contrary to popular belief, their cost is in line with traditional fertilizers.
  3. Organic-based fertilizers are a sustainable solution for recycling waste streams that would otherwise be landfilled or incinerated. More and more, consumers are looking for products that are sustainable and have a low-impact on the environment.

Nature gives you balance. If you take a look at 2,000 tons of soil, you will have two to six tons of living organisms. Everything from earthworms to Nitrosomonas, all living on the viable organic matter in the soil. Leaves, grass clippings, and fertilizers contain fresh organic matter to provide the food source for the living soil. It must be maintained in order to support the living soil, which in turn provides a healthy soil where plants can thrive. This has been the rule of nature for millions of years, long before man walked the earth and created synthetic fertilizers and mass agro-business.

Today the Green Industry has multiple choices for adding valuable organic matter. Central offers a line of low-impact and organic-based fertilizers. These fertilizers provide balance, just like in nature. This line of fertilizers and its low impact control products provide unprecedented options to deliver a quality lawn and landscape to their customers at a value-added price.

Want to learn more about organic-based fertilizers, contact us here to learn more.

More About John Huber

John Huber is Central’s Organic and Sustainable Products Manager. John started out in the Green Industry as a grower of nursery plants. John launched his own landscape company and successfully built his business into the first organic-based turf management company in south eastern Virginia.

More recently, John worked in fertilizer manufacturing using organic ingredients that increased efficiency, and delivered numerous plant health benefits not found in today’s conventional fertilizers. John brings a wealth of knowledge in sustainable solutions. And with his leadership, Central Turf & Irrigation Supply will provide the stewardship to lead The Green Industry forward, into a new era of sustainability.