Friday, October 2, 2009

Composting Recycles Vegetable Garden Wastes

By Mary Petersen Platinum Quality Author

To make next year's vegetable garden even better than this year we have a few chores to do in the fall. If you take care of things at the end of the growing season, you'll have less disease to worry about and starting off next year will be easier. When the tomato plants stop flowering and when their foliage turns brown, they're done. This is the time to harvest the last tomatoes and dig out the dying plants. Hopefully, all your hard work paid off in abundant and tasty fruits. But what do you do with the leftover plant parts?

The old foliage and bad fruits can be burned, especially if disease is suspected. Do your tomatoes have an off-color? Maybe they're black or just spotted with black. Are they rotting on the vine? Do the leaves have a mottled look or are they spotted with brown or black dots? In any case burning the old foliage from your garden at the end of the growing season is one remedy for starting disease-free in the spring. Viruses and bacteria and all kinds of blight problems can be taken care of by burning the dying vegetation.

Of course, some neighborhoods won't allow burning and sometimes it's just not practical, so instead try composting. Compost temperatures can get high enough to kill disease-causing bugs. Many closed system compost bins are available on the market in case you don't have room for a great pile of decaying leaves and garden wastes. These tumbler-type bins really speed up the composting time and as an added bonus they keep the smells inside.

The worst way of getting rid of garden vegetation is to bag it up and place it at the curb for trash pickup. Does that stuff in the bag go into a landfill? What a waste of time and effort, not to mention petroleum products in the bags and to fuel the trash pickup truck. Why waste all those good nutrients? With all the money spent on plastic trash bags and trash pickup fees, one could easily save up for a compost bin.

Compost has been called black gold because it is so valuable to the vegetable plants in your garden. If you haven't tried composting your vegetable garden wastes, please give it a try. You'll be surprised at the results and you'll be helping to reduce your dependence on petroleum, too. Once you set up a composting system you can use it all season long to take care of kitchen scraps, plant trimmings, yard waste and leftovers from the garden.

Be kind to the environment by composting your garden wastes. Instead of putting those excess nutrients in a landfill where they will likely never be useful again, help nature out by recycling those old plants into compost. Blending compost into your garden soil will add nutrients and boost the fertility of your soil for next year's garden.

Mary Petersen is an organic gardener who loves to grow vegetables and flowers right in the front yard. While tending her garden Mary can be seen using her to look at butterflies and other cool insects. Visit her latest gardening adventure at and learn about using herbs.

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Compost the black gold for the garden

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