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What Is The Best Compost For Growing Vegetables

If you are interested in having your own vegetable garden, you should know the best compost for growing vegetables. Organic compost is the best one to use for a vegetable garden. It is as efficient as a commercial fertilizer because it provides valuable nutrients, improves soil structure, and creates a healthy soil ecosystem. 

What Is The Best Compost For Growing Vegetables - Krostrade

Why Can You Use Compost For Growing Vegetables

You can use compost for growing vegetables because it provides valuable nutrients, improves soil structure, and creates a healthy soil ecosystem. It’s also a great way to grow vegetables organically because you’re using various wastes to produce more food. Organic compost is as effective as commercial fertilizer, which makes it an excellent cost-efficient alternative. 

 

Provides valuable nutrients

Organic compost is as efficient as commercial fertilizer because it can also provide valuable nutrients to the soil. It can add valuable nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium to your garden soil, identical to an NPK fertilizer. And depending on the organic materials, you used for the compost, it can also provide nutrients like zinc, iodine, copper, manganese, iron, boron, and cobalt. 

Another reason why organic compost makes the best compost for growing vegetables is the fact that it can add humus to your garden soil. As a result, this humus-rich soil will help increase the growth of your vegetables. This is the reason why organic composting creates a great vegetable garden soil. 

The composting process creates humus, and this form makes the nutrients more easily accessible to your vegetable plants. The plant roots are able to feed on these nutrients, which will then fuel your vegetables’ growth. If you want to create the best soil for a vegetable garden, it has to have a lot of humus. 

 

Improves soil structure

The nutrients in the soil are not enough for growing vegetables efficiently. The structure of the soil itself is also significant as it affects the planting, harvesting, and health of your vegetables. Organic compost improves the soil structure by moderating pH levels and improving drainage and holding capacity. 

 

Moderating pH levels

If your soil is too acidic or too alkaline, adding organic compost will modify its pH level to counterbalance it. This is because compost works as a pH buffer and even helps vegetables to become less dependent on the soil’s pH levels. However, do note that certain crops thrive better on acidic or alkaline soil, so you have to amend the soil for them accordingly. 

 

Improving drainage and holding capacity

If you’re using clay soil in your vegetable garden, you can improve its drainage by adding compost. This way, your plants can access the nutrients in the soil much more effectively. In addition, you can also improve the holding capacity for water and nutrients in your garden if you have sandy soil. 

Overall, organic compost makes the soil rich, loamy, and friable. A soil with these characteristics has better drainage and holding capacity, which will prevent soil fertility problems. Understand that if the soil does not have good drainage and holding capacity, it’s more likely to erode and cause problems in planting and harvesting. 

 

Creates a healthy soil ecosystem

Organic compost creates a healthy soil ecosystem that is beneficial for your vegetables. For example, mushroom compost creates fungal activity in the soil, making it easier for the plants to access soil nutrients. Another organic compost is a manure-based compost that adds microorganisms for aiding the decomposition of the compost. 

 

Compost VS Manure For Vegetable Garden

You can classify both compost and manure as organic compost. Both can be beneficial for vegetable gardens, but compost has more advantages than a manure-based compost.  A drawback that is worthy of considering when using manure for vegetable gardens is the presence of microorganisms. 

 

What is compost?

Compost is a general term, but it basically means partially decomposed organic matter that you can make or purchase. To give you a better concept of what is compost, it’s a combination of organic matter, bacteria, moisture, and oxygen. This composition makes compost an excellent addition to the vegetable garden soil. 

 

Advantages of using compost

Compost is better for vegetable gardens compared to manure. This is because there’s no risk of pathogens coming in contact with the vegetables. But at the same time, the compost still makes use of beneficial microbes to help with the nutrient cycling in the soil. 

Compost is made of organic matter that adds nutrients to the soil. It also increases the soil’s integrity and water holding capacity to create a structure that’s ideal for vegetable gardening. In turn, this improved soil structure will lessen the pumping costs you’ll need in the garden. 

 

Disadvantages of using compost

Good compost will only be effective if you make sure it contains all the essential components. This can cost you effort and time on your part, instead of the much simpler process of using manure. You have to be knowledgeable of the proper carbon-nitrogen ratio in your compost to achieve great results. 

 

What is manure

Manure is simply animal dung. It’s a popular fertilizer because it can provide nutrients that are essential for healthy plants to grow. However, using manure for a vegetable garden may not be ideal because of the risk of pathogens. 

 

Advantages of using manure 

Manure adds organic matter and essential nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium to the soil. It also improves the soil’s water holding capacity to help reduce the chances of erosion. At the same time, it’s cheaper and easier to use since it is free. 

 

Disadvantages of using manure

You can use manure for your vegetable garden, but the risk for pathogen transfer to the food crops is something to worry about. This is especially true for root crops like potatoes and carrots that can contact the soil with manure. Therefore, wait for at least four months before using the soil with manure for your vegetable crops. 

Another disadvantage of using manure in a vegetable garden is that it can sometimes be too rich for your plants. You might end up over-fertilizing your crops, and the nutrients are not even manageable enough for your plants to use. 

 

A Complete Guide To Choosing The Right Compost for Growing Vegetables

It’s not enough that you know that organic compost is the best for growing vegetables. You also need to consider the type of compost and the composition it needs to provide quality assistance to your vegetable garden. For growing vegetables, you want a hot compost with a balanced carbon-nitrogen ratio.

 

Type of compost

Hot compost

Hot compost is so-called because the process of making it generates heat. This makes it great for food crop gardens because the heat kills the diseases and pathogens that may be in a pile. But since the base heats the middle of the pile, you need to turn the components to make sure they all get to this part. 

Cold compost

Cold composting takes longer than a hot compost because you can gradually add various materials inside. Typically, you can use a bin for cold composting and then replace it once it’s full. However, because it doesn’t reach a hot temperature, it can’t kill pathogens the same way a hot compost does. 

Composition

The right compost for growing vegetables should have a balanced carbon and nitrogen composition. You can achieve this by understanding carbon-rich materials and nitrogen-materials. Simply put, carbon-rich materials do not rot easily, while nitrogen-rich materials rot easily. 

Sawdust is an example of carbon-rich material, while green foliage and fish guts are both rich in nitrogen. Make sure to mix both ingredients at a ratio of 30:1 to achieve the right carbon-nitrogen balance in your compost. However, you can also use a carbon-nitrogen ratio calculator to make sure you’re getting the right one for your vegetable garden. 

Another way to separate carbon and nitrogen-rich materials is by remembering that carbons are browns and nitrogens are greens. Therefore, leaves and sawdust are rich in carbon, while vegetable scraps and grass clippings are rich in nitrogen. When making compost, use two-thirds of browns and one-third of greens. 

What else can you put in the compost

Water and air are both important in the compost. However, make sure that your pile is not oversaturated with water as it only has to have 50 percent of moisture level. On the other hand, you can aerate your compost by simply using a pitchfork to move the components inside the pile. 

If you want to speed up the composting process, you can also add plants to your pile. Chamomile and yarrow leaves are both examples of activators for composts. Adding these accelerators will speed the composting process, but they are not essential for a compost. 

What shouldn’t you put in a compost

You can put most of your kitchen scraps in a compost except meat and dairy products. This is because they can attract animals, and materials like fat and bones do not decompose as quickly. You should also avoid citrus and onions because they can slow down the composting process. 

Hot composts are best for vegetable gardens because the process kills pathogens and parasites. However, it’s safer not to add pet manure and diseased plant matter in your compost. Stick to ingredients that you know are free of parasites when you’re using compost for growing vegetables. 

 

What Is The Best Way To Compost A Vegetable Garden

The best way to compost a vegetable garden is during spring and autumn. In spring, you can spread the organic compost over the soil. While in autumn, you can gently mix compost in the soil before covering it with bare soil and shredded leaves. 

Remember not to dig the compost into the soil too harshly because this can destroy the soil’s structure. You can just also add the organic matter on top of the soil because it will gently rot on its own. If it’s necessary to dig the soil, do it gently and as little as possible. 

 

During spring

During spring, you can add a layer of compost over the soil. You can even mulch the compost around the individual vegetable rows in your garden. Besides these areas, make sure you’re also adding some compost in the planting holes if you’re transplanting. 

 

During autumn

You can spread your compost over the soil, but you can also gently mix it into the soil. It’s not necessary to dig deep for the compost because it will rot in the winter anyway. However, make sure you have removed the summer crops before putting compost in autumn. 

Note that if you have just harvested the vegetables in autumn, you don’t need to mix the compost into the soil. At this point, the worm population should be enough to do the work for you.  

 

How Much Compost Should I Add To My Vegetable Garden?

You can add as much as an inch of compost over the top of your vegetable garden.  Then, incorporate it into the top five inches of the soil. When you’re transplanting, you can add compost in the holes, and then use some as mulch when your plants are growing

 

Conclusion

Before starting your vegetable garden, you should know what the best compost for growing vegetables is. An organic compost would be the greatest for a vegetable garden. It provides valuable nutrients, improves soil structure, and creates a healthy soil ecosystem for your vegetable crops. 

You should stick to using compost instead of manure for your vegetable garden. This is because manure may introduce pathogens and microorganisms to the vegetables, especially to root crops like carrots. However, you can wait at least four months before using the soil where you applied manure.

Hot compost is excellent for a vegetable garden because the heat kills the diseases in a pile. But in order to achieve a perfect compost, you must check the carbon-nitrogen ratio of your compost. And lastly, apply an inch of organic compost on your vegetable garden every spring and autumn.

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How to Harvest Marigold Flowers and Seeds: Tools And Tips

How to Harvest Marigold Flowers and Seeds: Tools And Tips

Want to know how to harvest marigold flowers and seeds? Marigold flowers are a mainstay in most of the gardens. They bloom beautiful flowers all season long and they’re easy to grow from seed. Knowing how to save marigold seeds is essential if you want to continue growing them the next season.

Fortunately, harvesting marigold seeds are quite quick and easy. You only need to take the seeds from the flowers and let them air dry before storing them during the winter season. You can pack it up with a container or seed packets to save even more for the next growing season. Some of the marigold flowers are edible and best to mix in your salads to add a distinct flavor to it.

 

Tools You’ll Need to Harvest Marigold Flowers

The tools you’ll need to harvest marigold flowers include a basket or other available containers that can be used in harvesting flowers. You’ll also need some paper towels, a sharp knife, a pair of scissors, or gardening shears.

Since you need to evaluate or describe the process, get yourself some notes. Seed packets can be envelopes or closed-air containers excluding plastic containers and bags.

 

How to Harvest Marigold Flowers and Seeds

Here’s how you can harvest marigold plants for flower arrangements and bouquets:

 

Letting Marigold Flowers Dry

It’s important to wait until the right time to collect marigold seeds. You can harvest the seeds when the petals are dry already (when the base of each flower turning brownish). However, make sure there’s still is a bit of green color left in the base of the bloom. If you also wait until it is completely turned brown, it may start to rot or mold. It’s important to wait for the perfect time to harvest marigolds since the timing is crucial to have the right quality of marigold seeds.

Tip in harvesting: While you are harvesting, simply cut each marigold flower heads using your cutting equipment or either pinch it with your finger. However, be sure not to pull the flowers as it can harm the roots of your marigolds.

 

Opening the Marigold

Get your paper towel and set it on a flat surface. After, hold each bloom’s base, pull-off, and discard the petals and leaves of it. Then, you will easily notice the attached seeds inside the base. In the meantime, set the prepared blooms on your paper towels for bulk removal of seeds. You may also use larger towels to manage and accommodate the abundant blooms of your marigolds.

 

Removal of Marigold Seeds

Marigold seeds are likely to have a long, slender, and pointed appearance. Divided ends with black color and white color on the opposite edge. Gather your blooms, pull-off all petals, and leaves, and start pulling the seeds from the base. After getting all marigold seeds, discard the base in a single place like in bins or garbage bags. After sorting, put another paper towel on another flat surface and spread the pulled marigold seeds on it.

 

Drying of Seeds

As mentioned above, let your marigold seeds air dry for about a week in an uncovered paper towel. It will enable them to be preserved even in frost season and will prevent it from getting rot and mold.

 

Seed Storing

After drying the seeds, gather them and start placing them inside your seed packets to prolong their lifespan and will still be used after the frost date. Do not use plastic bags in storing your marigold seeds because it will retain residual moisture, which will affect your marigold seeds and even get rot and mold. To avoid forgetting about your marigold seeds, put a label on it to prevent possible disposal if unlabeled.

 

Using Stored Seeds for Replanting

After storing your collected marigold seeds, it is perfect to plant during the growing season. You can enjoy once again the benefits of it from house beautification to an edible ingredient for your salad.

 

Facts about Marigold Flowers

Marigolds are especially good for repelling insects and pests, making them companion plant for tomatoes, eggplants, tomatoes, and chili pepper because of its pungent scent of some variety. It is amazing having this kind of flow in your plant, imagine you don’t only have a beautiful attractive garden but having also a very natural insect and pest repellent that will protect your plants from any abrogation.

African marigolds have larger flower heads on plants that grow from 10 to 36 inches tall. While French marigolds are smaller and bushier, having only two inches of flower head across on plants and only having six to eighteen inches height. Sizes and colors vary on its classification, having a mixed combination is pretty great, will also add more pleasant and abundant color to your garden.

 

The Benefits of Growing Marigolds in a Greenhouse

Have you ever thought of growing your marigolds in a greenhouse? If you haven’t, it’s time to consider getting a greenhouse.

Greenhouses are great for keeping your marigolds safe from pests and diseases. Marigolds are susceptible to insects and blight, such as caterpillars, aphids, leaf spots, and mildews. You can lower the risk of plant damage by growing your marigolds in a greenhouse.

Additionally, greenhouses can also keep your plants safe from bad weather that could easily damage your flowers.

 

Final Thoughts on How to Harvest Marigold Flowers and Seeds

Knowing how to harvest marigold flowers and seeds is crucial if you’re planning to plant them in your garden. These beautiful flowers that usually come in yellow and orange colors are a great addition to any garden or flower arrangement.

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