Is Buying Artificial Fertilizer Better Than Making Your Own Compost?

Is Buying Artificial Fertilizer Better Than Making Your Own Compost?

If you’re a gardening enthusiast or simply an environmentally conscious person, you might be familiar with the dilemma of whether you should purchase artificial fertilizers or invest time and effort in creating your own compost. 

Both options have their advantages and disadvantages, making it essential to carefully consider various factors before making a decision. In this blog post, we will delve into the pros and cons of buying artificial fertilizer and making your own compost, ultimately aiming to help you make an informed choice that aligns with your needs and values.

Understanding Fertilizer and Compost

Before we weigh the benefits and drawbacks of these two options, let's establish a basic understanding of what they are and how they contribute to plant growth.

Artificial fertilizers

Artificial fertilizers are manufactured chemical substances specifically designed to provide plants with essential nutrients. These nutrients, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, are crucial for plant growth and development. Artificial fertilizers are readily available in garden centres and are often formulated to target specific nutrient deficiencies.


Compost, on the other hand, is an organic material that undergoes decomposition in a controlled manner. It consists of various organic waste, including kitchen scraps, yard trimmings, and other biodegradable materials. Over time, these organic components break down into a rich, nutrient-dense soil amendment that enhances soil fertility and supports plant growth.

Drawbacks of Buying Artificial Fertilizer

Environmental impact 

The production and use of artificial fertilizers contribute to environmental degradation. The manufacturing process often requires large amounts of energy, and the excessive use of chemical fertilizers can lead to nutrient runoff, polluting water bodies and harming aquatic life. Additionally, the mining and extraction of raw materials for synthetic fertilizers can deplete natural resources.

Soil health

Artificial fertilizers provide plants with essential nutrients but do little to improve soil structure and long-term soil health. Continued use of synthetic fertilizers can lead to soil degradation, reducing its ability to retain water, support beneficial microorganisms, and foster a healthy ecosystem.

Benefits of Making Your Own Compost

Soil enrichment

Compost enriches the soil by improving its structure, enhancing moisture retention, and promoting microbial activity. The organic matter in compost releases nutrients slowly, providing a steady and balanced supply of nourishment for plants. This fosters long-term soil health and reduces the need for additional inputs.

Waste reduction and sustainability

Creating compost at home allows you to recycle organic waste such as kitchen scraps, leaves, and yard trimmings. By diverting these materials from landfills, you reduce waste and contribute to a more sustainable lifestyle. Composting also reduces greenhouse gas emissions associated with organic waste decomposition in landfills.


Making compost eliminates the need to purchase artificial fertilizers, saving you money in the long run. While composting requires initial effort and time, it is a cost-effective way to produce nutrient-rich soil amendments for your garden.

The choice between buying artificial fertilizer and making compost depends on various factors, including convenience, environmental impact, soil health, and personal preferences. While artificial fertilizers offer convenience and immediate results, they come with environmental drawbacks and contribute less to long-term soil health. On the other hand, composting supports sustainability, reduces waste, and improves soil structure, albeit requiring more time and effort.

A balanced approach might involve a combination of both methods, utilizing artificial fertilizers when necessary and incorporating compost to enhance soil health. This allows you to strike a balance between convenience and environmental responsibility, ultimately supporting the long-term health and productivity of your garden.

When choosing what practice is best for you, remember to always consider the specific needs of your plants, the impact on the environment, and your personal gardening goals. By making an informed decision, you can cultivate a thriving garden while minimizing your ecological footprint.

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