Thursday, May 6, 2010

Composting Organic Food Wastes Makes for Healthier Plants Next Year

(c) Carrie Boyko 2010
Basil Sprung from Hearty Compost
and Last Year's Seeds

claim token BJ35WMVNUW2T
Last year's organic gardening efforts were my first ever, and what a thrill it was. There is truly a 'one with the earth' feeling you get when you grow something that you can eat. Here's how my journey started, and now continues. Perhaps you can derive a lesson or two from my experiences.


After nearly a year of composting, I harvested a nice crop of rich, organic compost to use for soil enhancement. Before my toxin free days of eating organic foods and using natural products,  I had enjoyed flower gardening. Never had I experienced the joy of harvesting a vegetable that could be savored in my dinner that very evening. What a thrill those first clippings of Basil and fresh-picked tomatoes were. Last year was truly a blessing for me in terms of new experiences.

The journey, this year, is continuing quite without my help--big surprise! As an exceptionally busy winter and spring had delayed my planned sowing of seeds, one day I made a discovery. I had basil growing out of the cracks in my driveway, and tomatoes popping up out of my compost pile.
Basil growing in a driveway crack!

While the latter was no surprise, as compost is supposed to be a terrific medium for starting seedlings, the basil in the cracks appeared to be nothing short of miraculous.


Scouting the area to see what other seedlings I might find, I discovered dozens of basil sprigs all around my yard. The wind and the bees had clearly done their job. I grabbed my yard gloves and tools and began to carefully harvest these precious little darlings into a bucket, to be transplanted into the container I grew basil in last year.


This container has been stowed under my overhang for the winter, after a freeze killed the last of the remaining basil. Before storing it there, I stirred in a bountiful bucketful of fresh compost, to enrich the soil for next year's seeds. When I slid it back across my yard to the sunlight, I discovered another surprise--more basil growing in the big pot--lots of it!


I gasped at the amount of little basil seedlings that filled the container, marveling at the miracles of nature. The picture at the top of this post is what I found. I had not even ordered my organic basil seeds yet, and here I already had nearly 5 dozen little plants started, after I added the ones I dug up around my yard. 


After transplanting all the driveway harvested basil, I grabbed another pot and headed back to the compost pile to dig up the tomatoes and pot them. Again I was in for a shock. I found not just the three plants in the compost pile, that I had seen originally, but also more growing around the area. It took nearly every pot I could find to locate a home for each plant. I blew a kiss to my organic compost pile as I potted the last of the tomato plants and whispered to myself, "Never again will I need traditional fertilizer; I have the gardener's secret." Bruschetta, here we come!
Tomatoes Growing in My Compost Pile
Imagine That!
Related Reading:
What Can I Put in my Compost
More on Naturally Enhancing Your Compost
Lighting a Fire Under My Compost


Technorati Code: BJ35WMVNUW2T




© copyright Carrie Boyko, all rights reserved

No comments:

Custom Search