What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Fertilizers?

Fertilizers can expedite plant growth and provide economic benefits to farmers and nurseries, but they can also introduce toxic substances into the environment. Fertilizers make plants and crops grow more quickly and appear greener, fuller and healthier. However, they often contain synthetic chemicals, which do not biodegrade upon entering surrounding waterways and the atmosphere.

Fertilizers, when used in agricultural facilities and commercial greenhouses, can significantly boost output and appeal. Fertilizers work by providing plants and crops with nutrients they need to grow to their fullest and at a faster rate than achieved through natural processes alone. Chemical-based fertilizers, according to Edublogs, can also help protect plants and vegetation from pests and may prevent the spread of weeds as well. Fertilizers may also be more cost effective and time efficient for gardeners and commercial farmers as well. Many fertilizers are inexpensive to produce, and purchasing them to encourage plant growth instead of buying high-quality soil may save significant amounts of money. However, fertilizers have disadvantages as well. One of the main concerns over fertilizers is that they require frequent reapplication. Furthermore, they contain synthetic (and often harmful) chemicals that pollute streams, lakes and the atmosphere when released. Fertilizers may cause cumulative harmful effects on humans, animals and environments, such as contaminated water supplies and spread of illness.