Sustainable organic vegetable gardening can only happen if people know how to use and prepare organic matter.
This is because it improves the soil and prevents it from compacting and crusting. It increases the water’s holding ability so earthworms and other microorganisms can aerate the soil and it slows down erosion and in later stages of decay so that organic matter is able to release nitrogen and other nutrients which help the crops grow.
Such a technique is old but is now making a come back because the conventional method of using synthetic materials like fertilizer and pesticides have ruined the soil and depleted it or organic matter so this cannot be used for replanting.
So where do we get this organic matter? Believe it or not, the best form of organic matter comes from animal manure. The fresher the better because you can apply this directly to the soil but this should only be done in the fall and plowed down to give it adequate time for sufficient breakdown and ammonia to release before the planting season begins.
If you don’t have access to fresh animal manure, you can use the dried version that is being sold in nurseries and garden stores.
For those who don’t to use manure, you can use compost instead. This can be made from lawn clippings, leaves, food waste and other plant materials. It is cheap but its nutrient content is very low.
There is another kind of manure better known as green manure You don’t use any waste by animals here but rather growing a cover crop in your garden and then plowing it under so you are adding organic matter to the soil. The best way to maximize this is for you not to use the garden for one season.