Yes. Organic and synthetic chemical fertilisers provide nutrients to plants in very different ways.
Organic fertilisers, usually in the form of cow or chicken manures, compost, and nitrogen-fixing legumes, release nutrients to plants slowly over a period of months or even years. They add organic matter to the soil, reducing erosion and assisting with the growth of soil microbes. It’s these soil microbes that help break down the nutrients from manures and compost into soluble nutrients that your plants can absorb. If you use an organic fertiliser like compost, you usually don’t need to add any other fertilisers because they already contain most of the micronutrients that your plants need.
Synthetic chemical fertilisers, on the other hand, easily dissolve when watered. They’re usually pellets or liquids packed with different ratios of nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, and other micronutrients. They release nutrients into the soil in a matter of minutes, allowing your plants to absorb them almost immediately. But because they release nutrients very quickly, they can also ‘burn’ your plants and damage them if too much is applied. If you’re looking to use synthetic fertiliser pellets, keep in mind that they’re good for using in the short term but they do very little to sustain microbial life and improve your soil’s long term fertility. Therefore you need to continue applying synthetic chemical fertilisers to your soil again and again to keep it loaded with nutrients, which can increase costs and labour.