Look to Mother Nature – Mother Earth News – Mother Earth News

Several years ago, while transforming our sand dune into an organic garden, I introduced my husband to the concept of “beneficial detritus. ”

“This, ” We said, pointing to decimated tumbleweeds and puncture vine. “You don’t want this in the garden. The seed heads will sprout. But this …” I gestured at poplar and mulberry leaves that had blown into our fenced backyard from neighbors’ unfenced yards. “It’s beneficial. The leaves will decompose to be some of the best fertilizer, and it won’t burn any plants. ”

That “beneficial detritus” now composes part of our own yearly soil amendments, alongside goat manure, decomposed hay, kitchen compost, and the whey from the cheesemaking projects. We layer it on, avoiding soil disturbance if we can, then allow the whey plus irrigation to boost the microbes and water nutrients down to the plant roots.

In the gardening world, we navigate terms and concepts that may make the heads spin: “organic, ” “GMO, ” “conventional. ” Then, all of us deal with those less-trustworthy conditions: “all-natural, ” “low-impact. ” What, exactly, do these terms mean for your garden? When choosing seeds and amendments, which do you grab, and why does it matter?

You may know that just because something’s organic doesn’t mean it’s the best choice. And most of us know why we should compost chicken manure before applying it to tender vegetation. But beyond that — do you choose fish emulsion, bone meal, natural kelp extract, or steer manure? Or a combination? Is there an one-size-fits-all amendment? And does the price point issue?

In this particular issue associated with Nature Information, author Daniel Bowman gets at some of these questions by narrating his experiment with different fertilizers for growing sweet basil . Which performed best? The answer may surprise you.

When looking in order to organic manures, sometimes we all only need to look to Mother Character. How does she fertilize forests? Those results in that drop from trees, that tomato plant that was healthy before the particular killing frost — all those still contain many nutrients that the herb needed to survive. Detritus (fallen leaves that will get chopped up beneath the feet of wildlife) has nourished massive trees and shrubs since forests began. Wildlife brings in the manure, which decomposes naturally within the leaf litter. Rains push nutrition into the soil for plants to use.

Mother Nature can teach us a lot about our own gardens and where we should spend our money. Often, the low-cost or free option is right before you, plus it can be the best choice for the setup.

Think about your organic fertilizers, what goes into your own soil? Which usually do a person buy and which perform you bring in as compost, free manure, or even irrigation drinking water with added benefits associated with fish droppings or decomposed algae? How do you incorporate the particular free offerings — fallen leaves, old hay, backyard plants from last year — in to your garden? Do you till them into the ground, broadfork all of them, make compost tea or even bokashi, or layer lasagna-style? We’d love to hear tips plus tricks through different climates and growing zones. Email them in order to me at
[email protected]. com .

May your peppers grow thick and your tomatoes not crack,

Marissa Ames

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