With plans laid out ready to start gardening, a funny thought occurred to me today about composting. Have you ever thought of it as vitamins for the garden? I can’t help but to think of all the vitamin fortified foods sitting on grocery store shelves, bottles of vitamin options that line the pharmacy shelves, and all the advertisements we see on social media or other media sources for vitamins. So, if it is important to add nutrients to our food and our bodies, it must be important to add nutrients to our soil, right? Yes, it is. Our gardens need compost that is rich in nutrients. This improves fertility and makes plants healthy.
I have a composting bin out by my garden that we toss our food and garden waste in throughout the year (my husband gets the job of stirring). Check out page 163 in our book, Eating Pure in a Processed Foods World® for a listing of items to add to your compost bin.
Some people spread compost over their garden bed in the fall and others spread the compost two weeks before planting time. I do both depending on how much time I have available. If it is a late fall, I spread compost in the fall. If the snow flies early, then it waits until spring. This year, the leaves are getting incorporated into the soil in the spring. These leaves are a valuable addition to the garden soil and is a good source of carbon.
If you are just starting to garden, or are starting a new raised garden bed, I suggest buying some good quality organic compost. I typically don’t have enough compost to spread over my garden beds so I look for the best organic compost available to purchase (it’s crucial to not skimp here). I want to make sure my garden (and yours) has the nutrients needed to get it off to a good start. And for the time invested, I want to make sure you, and I, have a healthy productive garden.
You will want to add a thick layer of organic compost and till into the bed. This might sound like a lot, but remember, you don’t want to skimp here. Work the compost into the soil when it is moist, but not wet.
For more gardening tips, check out the “In the Garden” section of our blog site.