Organic gardening, does it all sound a bit worthy, a bit ‘good life’ and scruffy? Do you have an image of watching helplessly as precious plants get munched by pests and not being able to do anything about it?
Well no, in fact it’s quite the opposite. Plants in organic gardens grow strong and healthy having not been forced into weak, sappy growth by artificial fertiliser.
Reasons for organic gardening:
- Birds and beneficial insects won’t be harmed, and we want to encourage them into the garden to eat up pests like slugs and aphids.
- Your vegetable, fruit and herbs will be completely uncontaminated by pesticides.
- It’s kind to the environment, I’m not sure what the real cost of a packet of weed-killer is to the environment, but reducing all that processing and transportation must be good.
- You’ll save money, have you noticed how expensive garden chemicals are?
It’s all about thinking of plants as part of the garden and encouraging a natural balance, minimising energy and waste, and above all being patient and taking small steps if this is a new way of gardening for you.
Simple steps to organic gardening:
- Rich, crumbly soil keeps plants healthy, keep a couple of compost heaps and mulch the soil with a good layer 3 or 4 times a year in spring and autumn.
- Collect rain-water in water-butts rather than using tap water to irrigate the garden. Good soil (see above) holds onto water for longer so plants have time to soak it up.
- Grow plants that really like the type of soil you have and the amount of sun or shade you get. The right plants will be healthy and less susceptible to pests and diseases.
You can read all about making compost here.
image: Jill Anderson