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Grow Healthy, Chemical-Free Vegetables with Compost

Updated on March 13, 2011

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.

Compost Materials

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.


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  • mgwhite profile image

    Mary White 9 years ago from Mobile, AL

    I agree with you, but a lot of people do like to include meat and eggshells. Not me, though. Yuck. You can easily create compost without including meat.

  • leprechaun profile image

    leprechaun 9 years ago from friendly City by the Sea

    Great hub, but I am not sure you need to put meat in your compost with all the chemicals that our government puts in it. I use compost every year and all the meat does is attract bugs and maggots, circulation yes but very nasty. Have a Wonderful Day, Timothy Millar "The Leprechaun"