Inorganic Fertilizers: Advantages and Disadvantages
The main advantage that inorganic fertilizers have over organic fertilizers is that they can be used immediately to rescue dying plants. This is because the nutrients present in them are easily absorbed by the plants and unlike the nutrients present in organic fertilizers, do not need to be broken into primary nutrients for absorption by plants. Organic fertilizers effects can get delayed and by that time a plant can die completely.
Another advantage that inorganic fertilizers have over organic fertilizers is that they are easily available at most gardening stores and hence, are quite convenient to use. On the other hand, making inorganic fertilizers can take a lot of time as well as effort. Decomposition process in making organic fertilizers is time consuming, which delays the making of organic fertilizers.
The main disadvantage of inorganic fertilizers is that it costs much higher than the organic fertilizers. So, if someone is using fertilizers in bulk, organic fertilizers are much more cost effective. The second disadvantage of using inorganic fertilizers is the problem of leeching, i.e. the fertilizer and the nutrients getting washed away, is much more prevalent when inorganic fertilizers are used. This is because in inorganic fertilizers, the nutrients are already in their most basic components, and hence, can be washed away easily, if the plant roots are over watered or watered with force.
Another disadvantage of inorganic fertilizers is that besides the essential nutrients required by plants, they contain certain compounds and salts which a plant is unable to absorb and hence, are left behind in the soil. With time, these compounds build up in the soil and can even change its chemistry. This can render the soil less than ideal for future plantations. Lastly, over usage of inorganic fertilizers can prove to be detrimental for the plants. Too much of it can burn or destroy the plant structures, including the roots, which can hamper the plant's over all development.