As the name suggests, dry organic blends are various combinations of granular or powdered organic materials. Such amendments are derived from plant material, minimally processed minerals, manures, or some combination of the three. In addition, many forward thinking companies have begun to fortify such products with the addition of beneficial biology.
For the most part, organic fertilizers differ from their “synthetic” counterparts, in terms of availability. This is due to the fact that they are comprised of large molecules, which must first be broken down into more plant friendly (ionic) form. This is the function of the soil biota, and that’s why it is commonly held, that organic nutrients feed the soil, which in turn feeds plants. In this sense, organic nutrients pull double duty. They provide sustenance for a healthy “living” soil, which consequently nourishes plants.
Further, research has shown that organic fertilization not only benefits soil biota populations, but actually fosters beneficial biological organisms, while simultaneously reducing the load of pathogens. Another improvement stemming from the life building qualities of organic inputs, is that the soil biota improves soil structure. Examples abound.
For instance, the movement of worms through the earth provides avenues for both gaseous exchange, and the movement of water. Arbuscular mycorrhizae produce glomalin, which acts as a sort of glue, and therefore binds soil elements into a cohesive whole. In essence then, it might be fairly said that organic inputs are an integral component of, and act in accordance with, the evolutionary milieu that plant life has developed in
In any case, beyond considerations of soil biota promotion and benefits, many gardeners find dry organic blends to be exceedingly practical. They release nutrients in a slow steady fashion, which may mean less ongoing work. Although perhaps of little concern to indoor gardeners, used appropriately, such gradual availability equates to reduced run-off and ground water pollution.
And finally, although admittedly anecdotal in nature, many report that organic materials and methods may confer disease resistance, and improve many subjective qualities of agricultural products. These include taste, aroma, and essential oil production.