Manure or pasture fertilizer is probably the best vegetable-garden-fertilizer to use because it is an organic fertilizer and is basically chemical free.
I once knew of a chemist who grew his own manure fertilized garden at home. He decided to check the content of nutrients in his carrots and compare the contents with some carrots grown using chemical fertilizers and the results were awesome. His home grown carrots were exceptionally high in nutrients while the store bought carrots were so lacking in nutrition, they were hardly anything but celulose.
Since we are going to eat the food grown in our vegetable garden, using a natural fertilizer rather than a chemical one only makes sense. Manure contains much needed trace elements that our bodies need and therefore, using a natural fertilizer for use as a garden fertilizer is again sensible.
Steer manure is good if it has been "weathered" for a season. Manure is always "hot" if it is green and placed on the soil before it has had time to compost. In the "green" condition, manure will burn your plants.
Why use a Natural Fertilizer?
There are several reasons I'll talk about later, but first it is important to understand about manure.
Manure is cow poop, in the literal reality world. It ultimately is made from cows eating alfalfa, it being digested and ...well you know the rest of the story. Here's how it all works:
- Alfalfa plants have roots that go 25 feet into the ground tapping the earth's rich sources of trace mineral beds.
- Hay is what farmers feed their animals and it is made from dried alfalfa.
- Animals make manure from eating the alfalfa.
- Consequently, you are replenishing the ground with NATURAL trace minerals when you use manure for fertilizing your garden.
Other good grains are fed to the horses, chickens and turkeys, and their manures also have great nutrient rich content, including trace minerals.
You can also use other plant foods as vegetable-garden-fertilizer which are available for your various landscaping needs in your raised-garden-beds or other gardening. These plant foods can add a good balance of nutrients to the soil every two or three weeks.
For the garden or raised-garden-beds, because you are growing food, which you will be eating, a natural composted steer manure or chicken or turkey droppings, are a much better choice than chemicals for growing vegetables. Your garden will keep on giving and giving all year. On the other hand, lawn fertilizer can be chemical fertilizer because you don't eat the grass.
All you have to remember on the subject of manure, is to make sure it has been composted, so it won't burn your tender plants because it is too "hot" or "green". Also, if you use manure direct from the farmer, don't count on it working the first year, because it takes a year to break down.
RL buys steer manure that has been composted in the bag when the bags go on sale at 99 cents a bag. He'll buy a dozen or two bags at a time to add to his raised garden beds as vegetable-garden-fertilizer building the soil back up each spring.
You can also place grass clippings on your garden or raised-garden-beds for added nutrition and to help retain the moisture around your tomatoes and other plants. In the fall, my father used to collect maple tree leaves and put them on his garden plot. His gardens were famous where he used to live.
There are also many plant foods available for your various landscaping needs. These plant foods can add a good balance of nutrients for a quick food every two or three weeks.
Another important thing to remember, is to rotate your crops, because growing the same food in the same ground over and over will deplete the soil and your vegetables will get smaller and smaller as the years go by.
Just like the farmer learned in days of 'yore, if you raise the same crop year after year, in the same ground, eventually the ground becomes depleted and the crops will fail, if you don't rotate crops and use vegetable-garden-fertilizer.
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