Best use of compost

buckyz4May 1, 2012

I have a relatively large garden (30X200)

On the contrary I have a small compost pile (4X4X4)

Needless to say, I do not have enough compost to go around.I grow most vegetables from Asparagus to Zucchini.

I try to put a layer of fresh grass clippings on top of newspaper between all of the rows throughout the year if possible.

This year I am planning on focusing the compost on my new asparagus patch (20 crowns.) I have also been putting the rabbit manure from my 2 rabbits on the new asparagus. I will probably do that until the corn is a couple inches high and then switch over and put the manure on the corn. The last couple years I have put annual ryegrass in the fall over about 1/4 of the garden.

This year I plan on putting buckwheat by all my vine crops (melons, squash, pumpkins, gourds etc.)

Last Winter I focused the rabbit manure on the raspberries and my existing 30 crown asparagus patch.

Any thoughts on if my thought process is correct, most places say to start with a couple inches of compost and my question is if someone had to prioritize, what crops would be your highest priority?



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You have to be more specific.

do you use compost for fertilization, mulching, or soil conditioning?

do you add nitrogen fertilizer?

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 10:10AM
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The main reason is for soil conditioning.
I will continue to mulch with newspaper/grass clippings since I don't have enough compost.
I do also add synthetic fertilizer, either N or a complete fertilizer depending on the plant, but would like to minimize as much as possible.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 10:46AM
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You can condition the soil with leaves used as mulch, as well. I usually add the bulk of them around June 15, under plants that have already grown.

This said, I prefer to use unfinished compost under tomatoes, potatoes and squash. Since I do not have much myself, I add a lot of leaves to it. It will finish there during the season and be nice soil for lettuce, carrots, or onions next year. Asparagus, IMHO, just needs mulch and time.

Brassica and chard/beets should have lowest priority since they do not form mychorrizal alliances. They just need straight fertilizer and decent, but not great, garden soil.
Carrots, parsnip, beans and peas make it in soil that is less fertile, so they, too, should be at the bottom of the heap.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 11:13AM
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