Organize vegetable garden organically

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The topic of fertilization often becomes a fundamental discussion among hobby gardeners. Mineral fertilizer fans point out that the nutrient salts are chemically identical anyway - whether they come from organic or mineral fertilizer. Followers of organic fertilization point to the humus-forming properties and the low leaching rate of horn shavings and Co.
From an ecological point of view, there are good arguments in the home garden to do without mineral fertilizer. On the one hand, the production of mineral nitrogen fertilizers consumes a great deal of energy. On the other hand, this interference with the natural material cycle leads to a creeping overfertilization of many habitats and thus extinction of plant species which depend on nutrient-poor sites.

However, the fact is that plants can only absorb substances dissolved in water, ie mineral salts. Compost, castor meal, horn shavings or cattle manure must first be utilized and degraded by the soil organisms. The nutrients are released slowly over a longer period of time. For mineral fertilizers, this detour is not required. They have a direct effect, but especially with young plants there is a risk of over-fertilization, and in heavy rain, residues can reach the groundwater.

Compost: The all-purpose weapon

Compost Earth seven

Own compost is an excellent fertilizer

Own compost not only feeds the plants, but also provides food for the soil organisms. When used for several years, dark humus constituents also improve very sandy, loamy or heavily compacted soils and provide a fine crumbly, easy-to-work soil. Important: Apply compost already during the bed preparation and work it in on the surface.
The amount depends on the main crop: vegetables with high and medium nutrient requirements such as tomatoes, cabbage, celery and leeks receive three to four liters per square meter. Peas, beans, carrots and radishes are satisfied with half. With salad, herbs and radish you can do without the basic fertilizer. This is especially true if you sow regularly on the beds green manure plants such as phacelia, mustard or buckwheat.

Horn chips

Horn shavings and the finer horn meal are good nitrogen fertilizers with a sustainable and environmentally friendly effect

Horn fertilizer for starvation

A summer lookup of vegetables requires vegetables such as pumpkin, which are a lot of leaves, or those that are left on the bed for quite a long time, such as tomatoes, aubergines, and winter vegetables like brussels sprouts or kale. Compost contains not only the main nutrients nitrogen and potassium but also a high proportion of phosphate. Because garden soils are more likely to contain too much than too little, the fertilization with horn meal, which receives only nitrogen, but no phosphate, sometimes cheaper. For so-called top dressing in summer horn meal is preferable to the coarser horn shavings, as it decomposes faster in the soil.

Special vegetable fertilizers made of natural or renewable raw materials are also cheaper for phosphate-contaminated soils, as they usually contain more aroma-promoting potassium and less phosphate. For safety's sake, you should have a soil analysis every three to four years. Just weigh the recommended amount on the pack - only experienced gardeners have the exact dose in the feeling. The right time: In the summer months just before and possibly during the main growth phase.
Plant-derived liquid fertilizers (such as sugar beet pulp) are ideal for quickly eliminating nutrient deficiencies or providing nutrients to potted vegetables on the balcony, such as tomatoes and peppers. The following applies to the application: It is better to only add a small amount to the irrigation water and fertilize it more frequently.

Video Board: How to Make Organic Fertilizer for Your Vegetable Garden.

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