Having a garden is a major chore but one that can keep you fed and comfortable during the summer without a trip to the grocery store. Part of keeping your belly full with a small garden is giving your garden the right food it needs to grow. There are many ways to keep a garden healthy and well-fed with nutrients.
Composting kitchen waste for your garden is a great, organic way of fertilizing to promote plant growth. Creating compost can be done in a small bucket inside or outside the home or can be left to the open air. Composting is started with a small amount of decaying material such as wet cardboard or decomposing leaves and grass. Adding kitchen waste, such as coffee grounds, broken-down eggshells and vegetable cuttings, to the pile of decomposing material in your bucket and burying it creates a rich soil that can be added to your garden.
Packaged fertilizer can be bought from a local garden center or from online retailers. Chemical and organic fertilizers come packed with a 3 or 4 number sequence on the side, representing the amount by weight of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and sometimes sulfur (in that order). Packaged fertilizers also include carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and other coating materials. Packaged fertilizers often come packaged for specific plants, such as vegetables.
Organic materials can be added to the garden as individual fertilizer components. Wood ash can be used as a source of potassium in the garden. Grass clippings can also be used as potassium in the garden. Manure and blood meal can be used as a nitrogen source in the garden.