You can save all of the vegetable seeds that you want, but if you have garden soil that lacks the nutrients vegetable plants need in order to grow and thrive, even the best vegetable seeds in the world won’t do you any good.
Your garden soil is the foundation of your vegetable garden. The better your garden soil, the greater the chance of success you will have for a productive vegetable gardening season. Chances are, your garden soil has less than 5% of the nutrients your vegetable plants need. In fact, many horticulture experts believe that number is closer to 0%.
You might be thinking that you need a lot of compost to get those numbers higher, but the fact is, you really don’t. A little compost will go a long way. Mixing in good, quality, well-aged compost, into your garden soil, will get those numbers to shoot way up there. Here are three compost techniques to help your depleted garden soil.
This is an easy composting technique that adds much needed nutrients back into your soil. Trench composting works best in the gardening off season when you do not have anything planted in your garden beds.
Simply take your kitchen scraps, grass clippings, fallen leaves and so on, dig a hole (or trench) about eighteen inches deep, and dump those materials into the hole. Fill in the hole and you are all set. The underlying ecosystem will take care of the rest. Come planting time, the material will have been broken down, and your soil will be well enriched with the nutrients that it needs.
Another easy solution is to always have a couple of compost piles going. A compost pile is nothing more than taking all of the items that I mentioned under trench composting, and throwing them into a pile. All you have to do is keep the pile moist by watering it occasionally and turn it over once in a while with a pitchfork so that the inner part of the pile gets a good supply of fresh air. That really helps to speed up the process of breaking down the material.
When the compost is finished breaking down, you can mix it into your soil before you plant, and then add it around the base of your plants during gardening season.
This is another great solution for adding valuable nutrients into your soil. It is said by many experts that vermicompost is the best compost out there. It’s open for debate but I can agree with that assessment. Vermicompost is nothing more than worm castings (poop). Worms eat the material (that we mentioned earlier), and in turn give you black gold, worm castings.
This type of compost is perfect for those gardeners that grow a lot of items in pots. It can take up a good amount of space to make a lot of vermicompost. Vermicompost is a more practical method, to mix in with a potting soil or peat based potting soil mix to give those potted plants a boost.
Now that you have a few techniques to try, be sure you are adding the right things to your compost. Instead of telling you what you can put into a compost pile or vermicompost bin, it’s simply easier to tell you what you should not put in.
Never put in meat, dairy or products that are greasy, bacon, oily products etc. These products will attract unwanted pests like roaches, rats, and so on. Also, do not put in items that won’t break down such as plastic containers or aluminum cans. The compost pile is not your trash bin.
Anything that will break down naturally will work.