When you are growing vegetables in your home garden, one of the key things you’ll want to think about is creating a good system for waste recycling. You should be able to return all the garden’s surplus to the system to create a strong and sustainable ecosystem that can keep you fed for many years to come.
What is more, you can even channel your kitchen waste into the garden system, meaning that you can put less strain on the waste management system outside your home. GoingGreenSuccessTips.com has an article on how you can make a Food Scrap Smoothie for your garden.
Everything in the garden is cyclical and it is important that we work as much as possible with the natural cycle rather than disrupting it. Mono-crop agriculture, in many parts of the world, has depleted the nutrients in the soil and degraded it to such a degree that some scientists predict that the topsoil could be gone in less than a century. Soil is a precious resource and one which can only be renewed very, very slowly.
So when we are working our gardens we should be careful not to repeat the mistakes made by some large-scale growers. We must take all necessary measures to maintain and protect our precious soil. Fortunately, this is relatively easy to do.
The first thing you should do is create a compost bin or compost heap. Garden clippings, kitchen waste, paper and cardboard can all be put in the compost. Layer green layers with brown layers to make the perfect compost.
Exactly how long it will be before you get a usable compost to return to your soil depends on exactly which composting system is used and various conditions, but eventually, the cycle will be complete and the nutrients will be returned to the soil and will not only feed it, but can even increase its fertility.
Make Some Weed Tea
Another way to add fertility to your soil and aid growing plants is to make plant feeds using weeds and other useful plants that grow in your garden or surroundings. Comfrey (a perfect plant for organic gardeners) is great for making a beneficial “comfrey tea”, while nettles can also be used to make an excellent nitrogen rich plant feed.
Other weeds can make a good all-purpose fertilizer. Simply add plants to a big bucket of water and allow them to rot down (this will stink so you’ll want to be sure not make it too close to your house or areas where you like to sit in the garden). Then simply dilute the resulting mix with water so it is the color of a strong tea and then use it to water the crops that need it.
Save Those Grass Clippings
Mulching is another good way to return the goodness in your growing plants to the soil. Use grass clippings to mulch plants that need a boost of nitrogen. Leaves or leaf mold also make excellent mulches in certain circumstances.
Mulches also help to keep moisture in the soil during dry, hot spells and can be particularly beneficial in warm climates, though they are useful all around the world for a variety of reasons.
Don’t waste your natural resources! Be sure to complete the cycle in your organic garden and take care of your soil.