Using Commercial Fertilizer

Over the years, I’ve read opinions saying commercial fertilizers damage the soil microorganisms. I’ve searched this site to see if anyone has written a report or offered an opinion but, I didn’t find anything. However I admit that I’m not the best searcher.

So I’m wondering if the jury is still out on the effects of using commercial NPK in moderate amounts to supplement the use of manure, compost, etc.

Instead, the abundance of individual bacterial or fungal species was sensitive to fertilization and was mainly attributed to the changes in the soil chemical properties induced by chemical or organic fertilization. Among the negative effects of chemical fertilization, the decrease in enzymatic activity has been highlighted by several papers, especially in soils that have received the largest amounts of fertilizers together with losses in organic matter.

^^ this is an excerpt of the abstract of this article, 2022 – Applied Sciences | Free Full-Text | Fertilization and Soil Microbial Community: A Review

is damaging to soil, this particular study says organic material can mitigate this effect.

ECHO put in their “Smallholder…” text an article about micro-dosing fertilizers. I have found this to be overall beneficial for long term tree health. at planting dosing less than a bottle cap at the tree helps produce root health, which has impact on resilience during the dry season.

Thanks Joel for your input. I would appreciate a little more information about how you used it with your trees. At what stage in the life of the tree, what frequency, how near to the tree?

This is the article I referenced. You should be able to glean your desired information from this.

I am old enough to remember when horse drawn planters did the same kind of thing. The planter had two hoppers. One typically for corn seed and the other one for fertilizer. It would slice a furrow and drop the fertilizer down deeper with dirt on top and then the corn seed above it with dirt on it too. Everything was adjustable. Now I see hand planters that function the same.