Tag Archives: alfalfa

To Fertilize or Not To Fertilize, That is the Question

Spreading compost

Looking out on my vegetable garden last week, I noticed some yellowing leaves on kale transplants. Perhaps the yellowing leaves were just a legacy from the kale transplants adjustment to their home outdoors. In the greenhouse, lettuce that I planted last month lacked its expected exuberance.  Perhaps slow growth of lettuce was my imagination.

Or perhaps the lettuces and kales needed some fertilizer. Vegetables are generally heavy feeders, and leafy vegetables especially so. My garden doesn’t get fertilizer per se; the plants get all they need from compost. Years ago I calculated that a one inch depth of fully ripened compost could thoroughly satisfy the nutritional needs of vegetable plants — even intensively planted vegetables — for a year, and that’s what my plants get. As an added benefit, compost, in contrast to chemical fertilizers and even most organic fertilizers, offers a wide spectrum of nutrients in addition to …

Read the complete post…