Sunday, October 26, 2008

Use Less Fertilizer

This post is for all of you that have a nice little vegetable garden but find you need to use lots of fertilizer to keep that little garden going.

What's wrong with fertilizer? Well, a little bit won't hurt anyone, but usually if you use fertilizer, some of it will wash off with the rains. Eventually, all these nutrients from everyone's lawns, gardens, and fields, flow into a large body water. Then a phenomenon called eutrophication occurs. All this excess organic chemicals such as nitrogen and phosphorous causes huge algal blooms to occur.

Definitely not the prettiest sight. Well, this ugly mess does more than just disgust everyone! When the algae die, a lot of dissolved oxygen in the water is used up by bacteria that are decomposing the bloom. And when the level of oxygen is too low, all kinds of marine life can be harmed, including fish. The Chesapeake Bay is the major body of water near where I live, and I know it is going through a major crisis of algal blooms.

So you ask, Molly, what I am supposed to do if I don't want to use that much fertilizer? I can't just let my vegetables and plants die? Don't worry... a post is coming up soon that might be able to help you.

This image is from Plant Management in Florida Waters.

2 comments:

just me said...

I am totally with you on using less fertilizer.

Over the past year I have helped my dad with the conversion by convincing him to start composting using the bin style and the worm type. The worm compost has given him a sort of "worm juice" that is, as he says, "5,000,000 times better! my plants have never grown faster, stronger and greener than they ever have before!"

Molly said...

Wow! That's great! I always think composting is the best way of returning waste to the earth, as opposed to dumping it in an overflowing landfill.