There are a variety of organic ingredients that are used to formulate organic products. These ingredients differ by the amount of carbon, nitrogen, nutrients and nutritional energy that are available for plant growth and microbial stimulation. The lower the carbon to nitrogen ratio, the higher energy value. This translates into predictable and consistent nutrient release and results.
Plus, the higher the nutritional value, the higher the beneficial value to soil and plant health regarding nutrient availability. The number 1 reason for using organic fertilizer products is to build microbial populations. Simply, microbes add life, nutrients and energy to tired soils. It’s this nutritional value that separates organic from traditional fertilizer types.
This nutritional value can be determined by the type of organic ingredients are used in the product. This value is defined by the “Total Digestible Nutrient Values.” This energy value is known as TDN Value. The higher the value the more energy in the fertilizer to builds soil microbes. In organic fertilizer products, the commonly used organic ingredients are carbohydrate from grain meals, protein meals from rendering ofal, manure from chicken liter and bio solids from human waste.
Listed below is an overview of these organic ingredients. They are listed in order of their nutritional value for plant growth and soil health. This is based on available energy to build microbial populations, the ease of nutrient availability to the plant and overall organic nutrient content in terms of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.