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This instructional step by step video will show how to use organic compost in a vegetable garden.
Tags:How to Use Organic Compost in a Vegetable Garden,monkey see,indoor vegetable garden,monkeysee,organic gardening tips,outdoor vegetable garden,vegetable garden
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Hi! I’m Ed Bruske and we’ve been talking about how you can start your own vegetable garden, grow your own food at home. And I wanted to spend a minute talking a little bit about the fertility of your soil and how important that is, where it comes from.
A healthy soil builds healthy plants. It’s going to make more food for you to eat. And in the organic system, the system that I use, most of that fertility comes from compost which is decomposed organic matter. I’ve just been checking up on the temperature of my compost pile here. This is some new grass clippings and leaves that I saved from last fall and shredded and put together. And the temperature right now is 120 degrees. And if you peel this back, you can actually see the steam rising. What that is, is the microbial activity breaking all this organic matter down. We apply that on a regular basis to the soil to maintain fertility. It’s not so much a fertilizer as an amendment to the soil that contains many of the nutrients your plant need but also feeds the microbes in the soil.
What gardeners and the horticultural community is finding more and more is that, it’s not so important to feed the plant itself as to feed the soil around the plant because that microbial population and the population of earthworms and other animals that live in the soil, in the end are much more important to the overall health of the plant than just the basic nutrients that you get from a typical fertilizer.
Now, compost contains usually about one percent nitrogen which is a lot less than what you find in the bags of fertilizer at the store. If you have heavy feeding plants like tomatoes that need more nitrogen, you can go to an organic fertilizer such as a vegetable meal, alfalfa meal would be one instance, or an animal meal such as fish emulsion or blood meal. Those are very high in nitrogen and they’ll give you a boost of nitrogen for those heavy feeding plants like tomatoes.
In the past, fertilizer has been made artificially since about World War II. That has been the way we feed our crops and our plants. It comes in a handy bag, you just spread it around and you get nitrogen, phosphorus, phosphate in a bag. The problem with those fertilizers, the artificial ones is, first of all they don’t feed the soil. They’re just giving a quick injection of nutrients to the plants. And they can actually hurt the soil because of the salt content which represses the soil life. And secondly, they’re made nitrogen—artificial nitrogen is made from natural gas which is a limited resource and is an increasingly shorter supply. We have to go long distances now to find that natural gas and make that sort of fertilizer. So, more and more farmers and home gardeners are going to this organic system of feeding their soil with compost.
Next thing we’re going to talk about is pests and diseases and how to deal with them the organic way.