Organic gardening at home is easy, and the benefits are immediate. Gardens can be organically fertilized with compost made at home or purchased at garden centers. Organic vegetable garden fertilizer has become more popular as awareness of health-related and pollution problems from synthetic fertilizers increases.
Organic gardening is the oldest form of agriculture on earth. Synthetic fertilizers were manufactured after WW II when ammunition factories began to create new products. "The Silent Spring," by Rachel Carson, published in 1962, raised the first public concern about the negative effects of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides on health. The excessive nitrogen from overuse of synthetic fertilizers is now understood to be a major cause of global pollution problems.
Organically grown vegetables are often thought to have more intense flavor than vegetables grown with chemical fertilizers. Using organic compost as fertilizer in the vegetable garden ensures that food is free of harmful synthetic compounds. "Numerous studies have been conducted confirming a link between pesticide exposure and negative health effects," according to the Children's Environmental Health Network.
Organic vegetable garden fertilizer is created from compost. Compost material is the result of the natural decay process of plants and animals. This material is high in nutrients that are needed to grow healthy vegetables. Compost helps growing plants absorb these nutrients easily, because it is a slow-release fertilizer. The soil's fertility is increased over time, and vegetables thrive.
Synthetic fertilizers give a sudden boost to plant growth but do not continue enriching the soil. Compost contains billions of microorganisms that continue their life cycles in the soil, creating the new organisms that provide nutrients. Over time, synthetic fertilizers produce soil that is gray and lifeless. The United States Environmental Protection Agency has determined that compost helps produce greater crop yields.
Organic gardening creates soil that is continually improving. The increased fertility results in fruits and vegetables that are healthier. A recent study at the University of California at Davis concluded that tomatoes grown organically have double the amount of flavonoids. Flavinoids are involved in the process of making antioxidants, which are known cancer preventatives.