More Sustainabile Fertilization

Each gardener should strive to use less and less fertilizer brought in from outside his or her own garden area. This will be especially true when such amendments become scarce due to the increased number of people using them. There are at least 4 ways to create a more "closed system" garden, to which few resources are imported:

  1. Use most of the food you grow at home, so all the residues are returned to your soil. "Export" as little as possible of your valuable soil resource.
  2. Grow some trees. Their deep root systems will bring up nutrients from far down in the subsoil into the topsoil and even into the tree leaves. These nutrients would not otherwise become available for use as plant food.
  3. "Grow" your own fertilizers by raising plants that produce good amounts of compost material, which concentrates the nutrients required in a form that plants can use. For beginning information on plants to use, see Ecology Action's Self-Teaching Mini-Series Booklet 12, Growing and Gathering Your Own Fertilizers (see Ecology Action Publications, page 225), Bargyla and Gylver Rateaver's Organic Method Primer, and Ehrenfried Pfeiffer's Weeds and What They Tell (see pages 184 and 199 in the bibliography, respectively). If everyone were to use organic fertilizers, there would be a worldwide shortage; eventually the key will be growing our own and recycling all wastes. Deep-rooting alfalfa (as deep as 125 feet) and comfrey (up to 8 feet) also help bring up leached-out and newly released nutrients from the soil strata and rocks below.
  4. Maintain at least a 4% to 6% organic matter level in at least the upper 6 inches of soil in temperate zones and 3% organic matter level in tropical ones. This will encourage microbial life growth, which can keep nutrients from leaching out of the soil.

The grow biointensive method has roots 4,000 years into the past in Chinese intensive agriculture, 2,000 years into the past in the Greek use of raised beds and, more recently, in European farming. Similar practices are still used today in the native agriculture of many countries, such as Guatemala. GROW biointensive will extend its roots into a future where environmentally balanced resource usage is of the utmost importance.

The balanced ecosystem: "Nothing happens in living nature that is not in relation to the whole."

  • Goethe
  • Goethe
Growing Vegetables Compost
Organic Gardeners Composting

Organic Gardeners Composting

Have you always wanted to grow your own vegetables but didn't know what to do? Here are the best tips on how to become a true and envied organic gardner.

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