Compost and fertilizer play a very important role of adding nutrients to the soil, to enhance the growth of healthy plants in the short term.

  • Compost involves speeding up the breaking down of organic matter by microorganisms.
  • Fertilizers are more of substituting macronutrients artificially.

Again, the two play the same role, but there are advantages and disadvantages of each over the other.


Composting is a cheap and easy way of making nutrient rich manure for your plants. It is a quality way of disposing off your kitchen waste, leaves, yard clipping among other materials. All you need is a compost pail to put this waste into then transfer it to your compost heap.

yard compost bin sample

Advantages of Compost

  • It is cost effective. Since you will be re-using your already used materials, you will not need to buy anything to make compost.
  • Materials are readily available. You can get the materials anywhere, from lawn mowing, kitchen waste, or primarily from street trash bags where people dump leaves and other organic matter.
  • It is environment friendly especially now that environment conservation is needed. Compost manure will give you results for an eco-friendly atmosphere.

Disadvantages of Compost

  • It is dirty and can be smelly depending on the materials used. Your neighbors will obviously not appreciate it, especially if you live close to each other. They are likely to complain in the event of a large compost heap blocking their view.
  • It can be inconvenient to gather material, because it will require most of your time.


Chemical fertilizers provide the soil with macronutrients like nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. They can also provide trace nutrients or micronutrients like calcium, sulphur and magnesium to the soil. They are produced with measurable macro or micronutrients which allow growers to accurately monitor plant needs. They also have strong nutrient concentrations to add to the depleted soils.

fertilizer for keeping green lawn

Advantages of Fertilizers

  • They are not bulky. Compared to compost manures, fertilizers will have an edge when it comes to easy storage, application and also transport.
  • Chemical fertilizers will be a good choice because they are nutrient specific. If you want to supply your plants with a given nutrient, you will be able to choose that specific fertilizer that is rich in it. Super phosphate for example will be used on a soil with a phosphorous deficiency.
  • Fertilizers are water soluble; therefore, they will be easily absorbed by plants compared to compost which might take longer.

Disadvantages of Fertilizers

  • Chemical fertilizers will only be useful when used in the right amounts. Nitrogenous fertilizers when used in excess will concentrate nitrates in your soil and water.
  • Water rich in nitrates is unfit for drinking, and it will also be difficult to treat. Nitrate rich water if carried to water bodies accelerates the growth of oxygen-consuming alga, something which kills aquatic life.
  • Use of fertilizers for a long time affects the acidity and alkalinity of soils, and it adversely affects crop production.