Are Mineral Fertilizers Dangerous?

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Are Mineral Fertilizers Dangerous?
Are Mineral Fertilizers Dangerous?

Video: Are Mineral Fertilizers Dangerous?

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Video: Organic fertilizer V.S Chemical fertilizer 2023, January

The debate about whether to apply mineral fertilizers on the site or grow everything according to the "ecological principle" does not subside and, probably, will never subside. However, sometimes one gets the impression that the supporters of "environmental friendliness" do not have their own garden or personal vegetable garden, but only criticize the "terrible actions" of gardeners who use mineral fertilizers. But is “chemistry” so harmful, is mineral dressing so dangerous? Let's figure it all out.

Mineral fertilization
Mineral fertilization


  • Where did the fear of everything chemical come from?
  • Why are mineral fertilizers necessary?
  • Are mineral fertilizers safe?
  • But what if you get by with manure?
  • Use of mineral fertilizers prevents soil dying

Where did the fear of everything chemical come from?

It originates in those gardeners and vegetable growers who do not have enough knowledge of agrochemistry and who do not have information about either the doses or the methods of fertilizing, but who read books and articles on organic farming, translated into Russian from all languages ​​of the world and calculated, first of all, to make a profit from the sale of the book itself, and not to teach someone how to get truly environmentally friendly products.

Looking ahead, as a person who has worked in science for fifteen years, I want to say about my own impressions of growing fruit crops in our orchards and gardens of the West. Guys, everything is fine with us due to the fact that average gardeners and large farmers save on fertilizers and pesticides: only 6-8 treatments are carried out per season (at most), but in the West - at least two dozen! And what is most interesting - in the West, the life expectancy of people is still longer than, so far, we have.

As for mineral fertilizers, the rumors about their harmfulness and toxicity, to put it mildly, are greatly exaggerated.

Why are mineral fertilizers necessary?

Any living organism, and plants are no exception here, necessarily needs water, heat, sunlight and food. Plant organisms receive energy through photosynthesis, thanks to sunlight and nutrients dissolved in water, which they sometimes absorb from the soil in rather large quantities, especially in fruitful years.

Growing plants in the same place for a long period of time (the same trees, shrubs are not vegetables, there may also be a kind of crop rotation, but it is not annual, but once every several decades), without the introduction of mineral fertilizers, we just we will achieve the strongest depletion of the soil, which will be very difficult (if not impossible) to replenish naturally. Plants simply cannot grow and develop both without mineral compounds and without organic matter.

As a result, on soil where no mineral fertilizers are applied, we can still get fruits and berries (say, thanks only to organic matter), but they may well not contain certain elements that are necessary and important to our body. And if we rely on these elements, consuming fruits and berries, and they are not there? It turns out that products grown in an ecologically clean environment, but on poor soil, may be even less useful than those grown on soil in compliance with all the elements of technology, albeit using chemical mineral fertilizers.

Are mineral fertilizers safe?

In capable hands, yes. To begin with, fertilizers that are not certified by the relevant authorities cannot enter our market, and therefore our sites. All standard mineral fertilizers sold in our country must be tested for environmental cleanliness and safety, both for the environment in general and for animals, humans, birds and insects in particular. Be aware that if the fertilizer is on the shelf of a garden store, then it has been certified and if you use it in optimal doses and at the right time, then the harm from it will be no more than from wood ash or dolomite flour.

The very ideas of ecological farming, which at the dawn of their formation were positioned as a call for the use of chemistry precisely in the correct, moderate quantities, are now for some reason strongly distorted and are already positioned as a complete ban on the use of almost any chemistry in gardens and vegetable gardens, which, at its core, sounds absurd.

Fully biological and organic farming was possible in the 15th century up to the 18th, when fat virgin lands were developed, and no one thought about the depletion of the soil. Now all these norms and rules of biological and organic farming will simply not work.

Greenhouse for growing vegetables
Greenhouse for growing vegetables

But what if you get by with manure?

Speaking negatively about mineral fertilizers, many nod in the direction of organic fertilizers - they say, there is manure and similar fertilizers, apply only them, and you will be happy in the form of a high yield. In fact, the same manure has both its advantages and disadvantages. To begin with, manure is, as you know, already processed material and it certainly may be missing something.

Animals, consuming plants, have already consumed most of the substances that they need for growth and development, and for plants for normal existence and development, and unnecessary substances (for the most part) went to waste (with manure), and, perhaps a small fraction of the necessary substances, but which the body of the animal simply did not have time to assimilate. Therefore, manure is good, but it cannot be said that fertilizer is ideal in all respects, capable of completely and completely replacing mineral fertilizers.

But this is not all, when you add manure, can you be sure that the animals were also raised in accordance with all the rules of ecology? Did they inject them with antibiotics, did they add growth stimulants to the feed? In animal husbandry, a huge number of different, again, chemicals are used that are necessary to maintain the normal growth of animals, to protect them from diseases and harmful microorganisms, banal veterinary drugs and disinfectants, which are used to treat water and premises and which are precisely created in this way. to stand out with waste, that is, with the same manure.

Of course, many can answer to this that they have their own personal farm animals, do not feed them with anything and therefore receive environmentally friendly manure. It is difficult to believe in this, because the animals themselves were, and now they simply cannot survive without vaccinations, but we will believe. But then the question arises about the availability of compounds contained in manure for plants.

Everyone probably knows, especially those who use mineral fertilizers, that vegetable, fruit and berry crops have important, one might even say, critical periods of growth and development when they need certain substances in an accessible form dissolved in water for immediate use (for example, during the flowering period of the gardens, foliar top dressing with urea is often applied, the plants are simply sprayed with its solution, and if this is not done, then most of the flowers and ovaries will simply fall off).

Alas, neither the soil, which happens to be severely depleted without the introduction of mineral fertilizers, nor organic fertilizers, the substances of which must only someday be transformed into a form accessible to plants, will immediately allow them to be absorbed, they simply do not exist. This is where those defective vegetables and fruits that we mentioned above are obtained. This is not to say that it is harmful, but after all, it is not so useful, is it?

Use of mineral fertilizers prevents soil dying

I would like to convey a simple idea that without the use of mineral fertilizers, of course, in combination with organic matter, taking into account the optimal dosages, timing and time, the soil, albeit slowly, will die. The soil will eventually deplete to the maximum extent, and it takes decades to bring it back to normal. On soils that are not subjected to the application of mineral fertilizers, by definition, it is impossible to obtain high yields of high-grade vegetables and fruits. This has been proved by science - agrochemistry, which claims that it is simply impossible to fully replenish the powerful removal of minerals from the soil by gardens and vegetable gardens by introducing only organic matter and plowing green manure crops.

If you have your own personal opinion on this issue, then write about it in the comments with its justification, it will be interesting to discuss this topic.

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