Fertilizing Your Garden

Community Contributed

By Joe Kennedy

How do you grow a large veggie garden, like a community garden, and get enough fertilizer to make everything thrive? Going to the store and paying higher and high prices for packaged, synthetic, petroleum-based fertilizers that’s been shipped from the mainland is not the answer. So where do we get it? Look around and try to remember the things that have high amounts of nitrogen in them.

Some easy-to-find, high-nitrogen materials include grass clippings from lawns and roadsides, the leaves, seeds, pods and twigs from the monkey pod and koa, and the dirt from under these trees. Other sources can come from the leaves and roots from high nitrogen plants like sun hemp, peas,  beans , clover, glycine vine, as well as seaweed. Human and animal urine is also rich in nitrogen. The best way to use it is to add it to the mulch, then water it in with the hose profusely, about 10 times more water than urine.

There are a lot of animals and objects in a nature-garden that can make soil fertile and productive. Geckos, all kinds of insects and pollinators, earthworms, microorganisms, algae, even aquatic organisms if you have a small pond — all these life-forms can work to make your plants thrive.


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