Jobe’s Fertilizer is a natural product for farms, landscapers, golf courses, and gardeners. Fertilizer for Less is proud to bring you this product review of their 4-4-4 Organic Fast Acting Granular Fertilizer. Jobe’s includes some of the highest quality ingredients into their products. They conduct detailed field and greenhouse experiments to validate the use of each ingredient.
Homeowners, lawn care specialists, and commercial growers alike are beginning to recognize just how important environmental responsibility is. As we tend to our gardens, lawns, and crops it is important to remember the impact nitrate run-off has on our lakes, rivers, and fisheries. Jobe’s Fertilizer provides an economical option that also addresses these concerns while being proven effective through the scientific method.
Organic All-Purpose Fertilizer from Jobe’s
First off, they have OMRI certification on the packaging. So you know their products are held to a high standard. Then they have excellent product application rates listed all over their site and on Amazon. So, we’re pretty impressed so far. But then we learned that this all-purpose fertilizer also includes Biozome, a unique and proprietary blend of beneficial microorganisms. To me, this speaks volumes. Including beneficial fungus and bacteria will help grow soil biology and unlock inorganic nutrients in the soil. So, I highly recommend Jobe’s All-Purpose 4-4-4 for gardeners, farmers, and anyone interested in healthy plant care. But to me the most important thing to look for in Jobe’s or any other fertilizer is that OMRI label they proudly display on the bag. Why? I think organic is a must for any serious gardener. It provides the best yields, and I’d like to share some real-world results that seem to back up that claim:
Long-Term Benefits of Organic Fertilizers
Traditional growers know that running the same crop each year in the same soil will lead to pest infestation or disease. Midwest farmers tend to alternate corn and soy in order to combat this problem. Soybeans fix nitrogen into the soil so that corn crops in the subsequent season require less fertilizer. Charles, a farmer in Iowa, decided to test the effectiveness of an organic fertilizer by continually planting soy on a 10 acre plot for several years.
He added 1 gallon per acre of a 4-3-3 Natural Fertilizer and didn’t make any changes to tillage method or amendments. Later on in the season, he applied a foliar spray of a Natural Kelp and Sulfate of Potash (1/2 gallon per acre) and another gallon of some 4-3-3 Natural Fertilizer. He did that for five consecutive years of soy on the same plot! In the past he averaged 40 bushels per acre. The first year of this experiment yielded 42. Then 54, 62, and finally 67 bushels per acre by year four.
Natural Fertilizers Work Better Over Time
To me, this experiment proves two things. For starters, I think we sacrifice long-term soil health for immediate gains when we use chemical fertilizers. This experiment clearly proves that it takes time to build soil health. However, if you have a long-term mindset your farm will benefit greatly within a few short years by switching to natural fertilizers. Another thing that I would like to point out is that these results were in spite of a lack of crop rotation. While soy might add small levels of nitrogen, it removed about a pound of phosphorus per bushel each season. In spite of this fact, the test crop managed to provide a greater harvest in each successive planting. I find these real-world results to be inspiring. It proves the value of switching to an Organic and Natural Fertilizer.
Nitrogen Fixation: A Sustainable Fertilizer Approach
As an essential ingredient in the production of chlorophyll, protein, and enzymes Nitrogen (N) is very important for plants. You have to find a balance. On one hand, insufficient N can lead to stunted growth. On the other, too much luxury uptake will result in weak cell walls and watery tissue. This can lead to more pest problems. It is especially true in the case of turf where chinch bugs tend to aggressively attack over-fertilized grasses.
Nitrogen does not exist naturally in soil. It must be absorbed from the atmosphere. However, your plants are unable to use nitrogen from the air until it is “fixed” into ammonium or nitrate by bacteria or algae living in the soil. Healthy soil with adequate bacteria is able to fix between 50 to 400 lbs. of nitrogen per acre each year! Here’s the problem: Chemical fertilizers are full of salts which kill bacteria. So, farmers who rely on those products are stuck in the cycle of adding more amendments each year to make up for this loss. Alternatively, farmers who use a natural product like Jobe’s Fertilizer are able to feed soil biology and rely more on our microscopic allies as time goes by.
Chemical Fertilizers: Proven to Disrupt Nitrogen Fixation
Artificial nitrogen sources use the Haber-Bosch process of reacting hydrogen and nitrogen under heat and pressure to form ammonium. This process did spark the exponential growth in human population. However, it is not sustainable in the long-term. Additionally, a study by (Fox, et al, 2007) shows us that chemicals in nitrogen fertilizers actually interfere with the ability of plant roots to interact with Rhizobium for the fixation of atmospheric nitrogen.
So, what does this tell us? For starters, rotating soy through actually has less of a benefit to corn that it would if you used natural fertilizers. In addition, you can expect to rely more and more on chemical fertilizers each year as biological activity is disrupted. Organic Fertilizers actually help increase the interaction between plants and Rhizobium, thereby increasing available N each season. Organic allows us to turn the green revolution brought about by chemicals into a green renaissance of healthier food and cleaner waterways.