If you have read our last article, you now know how Tero, our food waste recycler, values organic waste. Within hours, its unique technology, robust blade system, and controlled heat delivery turn organic waste into a ready-to-use natural fertilizer.
The previous article also discussed the important role organic matter plays for the soil’s good health and structure. So a fertilizer made of nutrient-rich organic residues is also beneficial for plant growth.
Let’s dig into the natural fertilizer itself. What is it composed of? Why is it so beneficial? How should it be used for maximum effectiveness?
Read on to find out the answer to these questions, and more.
What is the Tero Natural Fertilizer?
The fertilizer material obtained at the end of a Tero processing cycle is composed of organic matter that has been dehydrated and ground.
It can be compared to organic fertilizer purchased in garden centres or made at home (dehydrated chicken manure, seaweed, dehydrated bone meal, etc.) since the fertilizer obtained is derived from natural sources and is composed of plant and/or animal matter.
They also share a common property, which is that they release slowly into the soil and thus offer a long-term beneficial effect. All these types of fertilizers nourish and improve soil life, which in turn nourishes the plants.
Why choose a natural fertilizer over a chemical fertilizer?
Unlike organic fertilizer, a chemical fertilizer is derived from chemically transformed substances and is often sold as water-soluble granules. It is quickly released into the soil and is absorbed almost directly by the plants. Most of the time, this fertilizer is highly concentrated in only a few primary nutrients. Organic fertilizers such as the one produced by Tero are therefore more diversified than chemical fertilizers in terms of nutrients.
A chemical fertilizer is still very effective on its own, but since it is concentrated, there is a high risk of misusing it or applying too much of it. This could include harming plants by burning their roots or harming certain beneficial organisms. In addition, plants do not absorb all of the fertilizer used. Since it is highly soluble, it can be washed away by runoff and drainage, eventually infiltrating and polluting waterways, and groundwater.¹
Lastly, let’s not neglect the fact that the manufacturers of this type of fertilizer is at the heart of a polluting industry, namely that of fossil fuels. The production creates many greenhouse gases.²
Chemical fertilizers in the form of water-soluble granules
Tero natural fertilizer vs. traditional compost
Traditional compost and Tero are similar in terms of the final material produced, as they are both soil amendments resulting from the transformation of organic matter. However, these two waste management solutions are very different in their transformation process.
Composting is done by the presence of microorganisms and macroorganisms: worms, insects, fungi, bacteria, which digest the material to create a compost. The Tero, on the other hand, uses a grinding and drying system to create a natural nutrient-rich fertilizer. Thus, there are no living elements.
One or the other of these food waste recovery solutions has advantages and meets different needs. The Tero device stands out for its ease of use and speed. Its unique technology transforms organic matter in just a few hours, some of which don't go into traditional compost, like raw meat and fish. Furthermore, all this is done without the presence of odours or flies.
It is also an attractive alternative for those who do not have access to an outdoor courtyard for composting. Since the Tero natural fertilizer can be kept for more than a year in an airtight container, it is possible to transform organic waste all year round, even during the coldest of seasons.
What is the Tero natural fertilizer made of?
The Tero natural fertilizer is rich in nutrients, which vary according to processed foods. The three nutrients that are most often found are: nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.
This nutrient is directly bound to the plant’s proteins which affects their growth. Nitrogen plays an important role in the production of chlorophyll, the pigment that gives plants green colour.
Foods that contain it: leaf vegetables, legumes, animal products, dairy products.
Phosphorus, on the other hand, is involved in the plant’s proper structure and growth. A phosphorus deficiency slows down the growth, affects colour, and can create plant deformations.
Foods that contain it: seeds (pumpkin, sunflower), legumes, fish, meat.
Lastly, potassium is involved in the process of water absorption through the roots. A lack of potassium can result in a plant’s change of colour and weaknesses in certain parts of the plant such as the stem.
Foods that contain it: cereals, fruits, vegetables.
One of the big advantages of a natural fertilizer like the one created by Tero is the diversity of the nutrients it contains. These are called secondary nutrients because they are present in smaller quantities. For instance, magnesium, calcium, zinc, iron, etc., are rarely found in commercial chemical fertilizers.
The benefits of the Tero natural fertilizer
After conducting a study with the Biopterre agency in 2019, we were able to demonstrate the high efficiency of the natural fertilizer produced by the Tero device.
It was tested in a greenhouse on radish and lettuce plants. After 38 days, a total biomass gain of 85%, fuller and longer plant roots as well as fuller foliage and better leaf colouration were observed.
How to use it?
Tero natural fertilizer is beneficial for all green spaces: plants, vegetable gardens, lawn, flower beds, etc. The two main ways to use it are as follows:
1. Sprinkle it on the surface of the soil or lawn.
2. Mix it into the soil at the beginning of the season and before planting.
Table 1 provides guidelines for the ratio and frequency of use of the Tero natural fertilizer. However, they are given as an indication only and we recommend that you test different ways of using it according to your soil and plants’ needs.
|Pant||Ratio||Frequency of use|
|Demanding vegetable plants (tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, etc.)|
1 cup per m²
4 tablespoons per pot plant
|Apply once at the beginning of the season and then every 4 weeks|
|Moderately demanding plants (onions, carrots, beets, perennial and annual flowers, etc.)|
⅔ cup per m²
2 tablespoons per pot plant
|Apply once at the beginning of the season and then every 4 weeks|
|Less demanding plants (herbs, lettuce, beans, grass)|
⅓ cup per m²
1 tablespoon per pot plant
|Apply once at the beginning of the season (April-May) and once in the summer starting in June|
|Large trees and shrubs|
½ cup per 2.5 cm trunk diameter
Apply 2 times per year (May and September)
Small trees: Apply to the soil surface below the perimeter of the branches furthest from the trunk.
Large trees: drill 15 cm deep holes every 30 cm under the perimeter of the branches furthest from the trunk. Put the amount of fertilizer in the holes and cover with soil.
How to store it?
We recommend storing the Tero natural fertilizer in an airtight container in a dry place. This way, it can be stored for several months, or even more than a year. It is important to ensure that the material is completely dry to prevent the development of mould.
The nutrient-rich Tero natural fertilizer is highly beneficial for soil and plants. Its use is very intuitive and varies according to the type of green space.
You now have all the tools you need to enjoy a complete and pleasant experience with Tero natural fertilizer. This will benefit all your green spaces, from your lawn to your flower beds, as well as giving a second life to your organic waste and keeping it out of the landfill.