Grow Healthy, Chemical-Free Vegetables with Compost
If you've decided to start a vegetable garden, it's a good idea to start a compost pile to use as fertilizer. This will enable you to create your own fertilizer for your garden, saving money and keeping the food that you're growing for your family from being exposed to harmful chemical fertilizers.
Starting a Compost Pile
To begin a compost pile, you'll need to clear a small flat area in your yard in close proximity to where your vegetable garden is located. You may want to purchase a compost bin to house your pile, but doing so is not necessary.
Once you have a designated spot, you'll need to get in the habit of placing trash and other plant waste into the pile on a regular basis. The idea is to amass a collection of organic materials in the pile. Over time, these materials will decay, becoming nutrient-rich food for your plants.
The quality of the compost your produce is directly related to the types of materials you place in the compost pile. A great deal of the waste that you produce in the kitchen is perfect fodder for compost. Instead of throwing away vegetable trimmings, meal leftovers, spent coffee grounds, banana peels, and other common kitchen waste, add it to the pile of compost.
Get in the habit of carrying leftovers and organic waste to the compost pile after cooking or eating instead of tossing them in the trash. Instead of filling up the landfill with good waste, allow it to become part of your homemade organic fertilizer creation process.
Care of the Compost Pile
In addition to adding things to your compost pile on a regular basis, you'll need to put a little effort into maintaining it in order to create effective plant fertilizer. You'll need to turn or mix the pile periodically, so that air will be able to circulate. This is essential to making sure that the nutrients are properly released as the organic matter decays.
It's also important to maintain an appropriate moisture level in your compost pile. If you live in a dry area, you may need to sprinkle water on the pile periodically to keep it moist. If you live in a rainy climate, you may need to place a tarp over the pile to keep it from becoming too damp and developing a foul odor.
Fertilizing Your Garden
Once the matter in your compost pile has had an opportunity to decay, you'll be able to use it to fertilize your vegetable garden. By spreading compost in your garden, you'll be feeding the soil with powerful nutrients that can help your plants grow and produce the type of yield you are hoping for from your backyard vegetable garden.