Alterra Landscape Design is a full service landscape and outdoor living design firm serving clients in Dallas, Richardson, Plano, Frisco, Allen, Mckinney and Prosper.

We at Alterra know that a chemical fertilizer is defined as any inorganic material of wholly or partially synthetic origin that is added to soil to sustain plant growth. Organic fertilizers are substances that are derived from the remains or byproducts of natural organisms which contain the essential nutrients for plant growth. (https://www.diffen.com/difference/Chemical_Fertilizer_vs_Organic_Fertilizer

Estimates of the U.S. fertilizer market are upwards of $50 Billion! Of that, only about $40 Million is natural. The rest is chemical. In other words we are using FAR more chemical fertilizers than natural. So, one might think that chemical fertilizers are best right? Actually the best and most practical method of fertilization for residential landscapes is a combination of both natural and chemical. Here’s why…

Your plants and turf are living organisms which require food, water, air and sunlight to thrive. Hey, kind of like you yourself right? And how healthy would you be if your only food source was vitamins – not very! Of course you need plenty of good, natural food to survive and thrive and so do your plants and turf. The trouble in North Texas is our soil is typically not the best and requires both chemical and natural fertilization to sustain and promote healthy plant growth.

We all know where to get chemical fertilizers and how convenient they are to acquire and apply. Which is why most fertilization is done with chemicals. Natural fertilization is more difficult because larger quantities of organic matter are required. But plants and turf need good, natural food and they only way they are going to get it is from the soil they are planted in or the organic matter you add when fertilizing with natural materials.

So, what are some good sources of natural fertilizers? There are two main sources: animal waste and plant/crop waste. These two are often combined in a composted / mulched mixture to create natural fertilizers. But, these materials are bulky and expensive to transport and apply. Which is why most folks don’t use natural fertilizers and just opt for a bag of chemical fertilizer.

Well, here’s a practical solution to help you get back to balanced use of both chemical and natural fertilization. During the early spring order a few cubic yards of professional grade planting soil. Then spread a thin layer (less 1/4″) over your turf and apply some around the base of your plants and trees (avoid covering bases and stems). Do this once a year, in addition to chemical applications, and you should/will see a dramatic improvement in turf and plant health.

The Alterra landscape design team is ready to help you with all of your landscape design needs. Whether you live in Dallas, Richardson, Plano, McKinney, Frisco, Allen or Prosper we can help with your landscape and outdoor living design project.

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