The Q&A Archives: Nitrogen fertilizer

Question: I was told by one of your experts that I need a nitrogen fertilizer for my light green colored vegetables. Can you suggest a not so expensive one to use on tomatoes, collard greens, cabbage, bush beans, brocolli & eggplant that won't harm them; & is organic & chemical free?

Answer: Some organic sources of nitrogen include compost, alfalfa meal, blood meal, coffee grounds, cottonseed meal, fish emulsion, seabird or bat guano. Probably the least expensive is fish emulsion. It's available in gallon containers and most need to be diluted in water and then applied. Compost is another good source of nutrients for your vegetable garden. Use a 2-3 inch mulch around each plant and as it decomposes it will release nutrients into the soil. Then, at the end of the growing season, you can dig it into the soil and add fresh compost when you plant the following spring. Over a few years of this practice you'll end up with rich garden loam and very healthy vegetable plants. Best wishes with your garden!

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