This might be a naive question, but I was wondering - if I used up chemical fertilizers by growing green manure plants in containers, and then compost those plants, would it have any negative effects on my compost/soil?
A friend of mine is moving and getting rid of the various fertilizers and supplements he used on his land. Some, like fish emulsion, I'll definitely take - but the chemicals had me curious if there's a way to use them in a somewhat beneficial way compared to them going to a landfill.
It's never too late to start gardening, and even the smallest project is worthwhile.
Hi Logan. This is always a hot topic here. Some people get hostile over using any fertilizer. I like your approach. I think converting it to something useful in much better than a land fill. It is kinda like using fungus to get rid of salts, pesticides and herbicides. I personally have never met some one that has never ate something that was grown from NPK fertilizer. We only use compost on our little farm, but anything we buy from a box store to plant was probably fed things like miracle grow.
The best place to pray for a good crop is at the end of a hoe!
Personally, I don't see a problem with doing that.
You're keeping it out of the landfill and converting it to something useful. Since it's second-hand, you're not signalling the manufacturer to produce more (as if that really matters in the big picture, but it matters to me regardless).
If it were me, I would hold on to the chemical fertilizers and use them sparingly on my regular crops when they seem deficient in something, or if it's a bad year, or as a quick fix on a patch of infertile soil while waiting for organic methods to build fertility. It's not ideal, but small amounts once in a great while shouldn't disrupt the soil ecology to the point it can't rebound and I wouldn't use enough for runoff to be a concern. For me personally, I feel like "waste not, want not," and fertilizer (not pesticides) is only toxic with repeated application and in the quantities the industrial farms use. Plants don't know the difference between nitrogen derived from petrochemicals or the cleanest, sweetest pee of vestal virgins.
It's not a sustainable long-term strategy for food production, but the material already exists in your possession, so might as well use it responsibly to get a direct yield rather than laundering it through non-edibles.