If you want to stop bloating your vegetables with polluting chemical fertilizers, it is time for you to familiarize yourself with natural fertilizer! No need to keep poisoning water reserves and setting local environments off balance anymore.
Follow the lead of pioneering organic vegetable growers. They consider that soil is much more than just a basic, sterile soil mix. Accordingly, it is alive and deeply connected, akin to a living being. As a consequence, you needn’t even be trying to feed the plant at all. Your target is to nourish the entire “biocoenosis” of the soil (micro-organisms, plants, animals) as a whole.
Organic matter increases through
- green manure,
- preparations extracted from fertilizer-rich plants (decoctions, fermented tea, etc.)
- or from other animal, plant or mineral sources (guano, fishmeal, bone powder, dried blood, seaweed flour, etc.).
Lastly, legume family plants come in very handy to lure atmospheric nitrogen into the soil.
Green manure for the vegetable patch
- Rye also has the advantage of suffocating weeds;
- Oats additionally repels flies away from cabbage, onion and carrot;
- Mustard volunteers phosphorus;
- Phacelia attracts bees;
- Crimson clover captures nitrogen from the air into light, slightly acidic soils;
- Lupine, medick and spinach provide nitrogen to poor soil.
Plants for fermented tea fertilizer
Great nettle (Urtica dioica) is rich in nitrogen and various trace elements (iron, for instance). Fermented stinging nettle tea has many potential applications: fertilizer, compost activator, insect repellent, etc.
Russian comfrey plays a part similar to that of nettles, with fermented comfrey tea.
Other sources of natural fertilizer
They are extremely diverse and space lacks us to list them all! We’ll simply mention two:
- bone powder contains phosphorus, and
- seaweed powder, on the other hand, is replete with trace elements (magnesium, iron, copper, iodine, etc.).
Quite a lot of healthy home waste can also serve to enrich soil, too.
These can be amended directly into earth in the vegetable patch in fall or through the compost.
Pierrick the organic gardener
Smart tip about natural fertilizers
When using seaweed, remember to rinse salt out of it or you’ll make your soil barren. Simply set it outside on a table or wire tray at waist height and let rain soak through it several time for the salt to wash away.