Fertilizing Garden Beds

Fertilizing garden beds is the important process of adding compost and (if needed) organic fertilizers. This important step should NOT be skipped. Your goals in fertilizing are:

  1. Healthy soil.
  2. Healthy Vegetables
  3. Enhanced biological activity.
  4. Improved soil structure.
  5. Readily available soil nutrients.
  6. Total reliance on compost you grow, and not outside organic fertilizers.

Get a Soil Test before Fertilizing

If you want to get your vegetable garden off to a good start, then begin with a reliable organic soil test. Soil testing takes the guesswork out of organic gardening, and it saves money, time, and effort. A healthy soil produces healthy plants and healthy plants are more resistant to insect damage and disease.

A soil test will tell you exactly how much and what type of organic fertilizer to add to your vegetable garden beds.
After you have prepared your vegetable garden beds follow the steps below:

Adding Compost

  1. Add twice the amount of compost to your garden bed as the amount of soil you removed when you prepared the garden bed. See Double Dig the Site – Step 7. In the Biointensive method of compost building, 50% of your compost is soil.

    Spread the compost evenly over your garden bed. This will be about ¼ inches (6.5 mm) thick.

  2. Using a garden-hoe, mix the compost with the top layer of your garden bed soil 4 inches (10 cm)

Note: Adding compost to your vegetable garden beds is a form of crop rotation.

Adding Fertilizers to your Vegetable Garden Beds

  1. Add all the required dry organic fertilizers in a five-gallon (23 liter) bucket.
  2. Thoroughly mix it all together. You may want to wear gloves.
  3. Hand spread the mixture from the bucket over the entire area of your garden bed. Makes sure it is evenly spread.
  4. Using a garden-hoe, mix the fertilizer with the top layer of your garden bed soil 4 inches (10 cm)

On-going Fertilizing and Composting Maintenance

This above process is completed at the beginning of the season, but I also add additional compost when I replant parts of the gardening bed throughout the year. I recommend added fertilizer at the beginning of the season only.

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