HOME COMPOST FERTILIZER
Do you have a garden or flowerbed?
Are you now purchasing commercial fertilizer? Here's something to think about before you buy another bag. As you know, fertilizer is labeled with three numbers. These three numbers, expressed as percents, refer to how much of each of the three nutrients is contained in that mix of fertilizer. So, you might buy a bag that's labeled "5-10-5." This means that 5% of the mix is one type of nutrient, 10% is another type and 5% the third type. If you total the percentages, you come up with a grand total of 20%. This means that 1/5 of the bag of fertilizer is nutrients. The question is what constitutes the other 80% of the mix you are putting on your flowers and vegetables.
Recent studies show that the other 80% could be almost anything.
Fertilizer companies are under no requirements to identify what they use for filler. However, it has come to light that some of these fillers are made from toxic sludge. I know this sounds insane but you can check the accuracy of the info by doing a search of news articles about fertilizers on the Internet.
Here's a "radical" alternative – make your own compost and use it instead.
Making an effective compost heap is extremely easy and accomplishes far more good than anything else you could possibly do with your vegetable waste. To make your very own compost heap, find a place in the sun and make or buy a compost bin. We use a wooden frame with chicken wire, about 3 feet by 3 feet. The key to having a nice, clean compost heap that does not smell or attract furry critters is to put only vegetable matter into it. Never put meat, fat, eggs or any other animal product in your compost heap.
To get started, dump several bags of dried leaves and grass clippings into the compost heap.
Add a few shovels of dirt (the source of bacteria that will chomp up your leftover vegetables). Add vegetable matter – potato peels, rotten onions, uneaten broccoli, etc. Toss the compost material as you would a salad, except that you should use a shovel or pitchfork. At least once a week turn the compost heap to ensure that you get oxygen to the bottom of the pile. It is the oxygen that enables the bacteria to decompose the compost.