Adding compost to your vegetable garden provides an excellent natural fertilizer. Compost is a mixture of organic matters such as leaves, manure, table scraps. These items are left in a pile to decay where soil organisms will break it down into a fine, homogeneous soil additive for your garden.
Making your own compost requires very little effort. It just takes a little time, effort and space to create a compost pile. Find an area about 10 feet (3m) on a side or a circle about 10 feet in diameter. You can rake up a pile of leaves in the fall and add some grass cuttings, straw, vegetable leftovers or any organic material you have around. Not only can you create a wonderful compost fertilizer with these items but also you have your own natural disposal system for unwanted food items and yard clippings.
Allow your pile to get 3-5 feet (1-2m) high. Then flatten the top and make a small indentation to trap rainwater. You want the pile to be moist but not too wet. Too much water blocks the air circulation that is needed for the material to compost.
Air provides oxygen that feeds the organisms that break down the material. Although you want air circulation, you donít want the pile to be too loose either. Because once the pile reaches a certain size and stage of chemical activity it will begin to heat. If the pile is too loose the heat will escape thus hindering the chemical activity process.
To increase the value of your compost you can add other items such as raw bone meal, ground rock phosphate and lime. These items won’t break down during the composting process but will help increase the value of the compost fertilizer in the end.
Vegetation and these additives can be layered throughout the compost pile. When you have a layer about a foot deep, add some rock phosphate. Add an amount proportional to the compost pile. For instance, for every 100 square foot of compost you should add five pounds of rock phosphate.
Manure can also be applied to the layers in the compost pile. Usually a few inches of high for every foot of compost is sufficient. Manure can either be used alone as a fertilizer or works to enhance compost pile.
When the compost pile has been active for a few weeks, you can stir up the material to keep it uniform. This helps distribute organisms throughout the pile. By rotating the layers it will give you a more even fertilizer.
Once the pile is ready to use, you can spread it over the entire garden area. If you have enough spread about 25 pounds for every 100 square feet of garden area. If not simply apply it to those area where the garden will be planted and watch your vegetables flourish with the help of this wonderful natural fertilizer.