The garden is a great place to start and do your bit in healing the planet. With so much environmental pollution around us it’s easy to be overwhelmed and wonder what you can do to make a difference. Here are a few tips to keep your gardening green.
The soil is the backbone of your garden and you need to keep it green and healthy. For rewarding harvests always use an organic compost to top dress or build up your soil. Use natural materials such as grass, untreated bark, straw and rocks as garden mulch.
Only use manual or organic methods of weed control. This will include a fair amount of hand weeding which is good exercise and relaxing. To make weeding easier water your garden the day before. Be sure to get all of the roots so the weed does not grow back. Weed often so they don’t have a chance to get away on you. Use a sharp weeding hoe in larger areas.
Try planting ground covers. This looks great and suffocates the weeds.
SAY NO TO LANDSCAPE FABRICS
Over the long term they are not a good solution. They tend to prevent air and nutrients from reaching your plants roots and also kill beneficial insects that would normally be around to aerate your soil. They often end up in the landfill with all the other plastic rubbish.
SAY NO TO HERBICIDES
These are poison to your garden and all its living creatures. Over time you will only sterilize your soil where neither plant or animal will flourish, and pollinators will pass you by.
Fertilize with clean organic compost or well aged manures from reliable sources. Often manure from feed lots and some farms contains antibiotics that were used on the animals.
Make your own compost from garden and kitchen scraps. Very affordable, clean and handy.
Use fish emulsions as fertilizer. Don’t worry about the odour, it only lasts a few hours. Just don’t apply it before company arrives for a barbecue.
Chemical and synthetic fertilizers should never be used. They create an in-balance of nutrients in your soil which will eventually work against you. Bottom line, they interfere with the biological health of your garden.
DISEASE AND PEST CONTROL
Prevention is the key. Begin by only growing plant varieties that are resistant to pests and disease. If a certain plant is a continuous problem, get rid of it.
A clean garden is a healthy garden. When you remove dead material you offer less opportunity for pests and disease to get a strong hold on your garden. Remove any infected material and destroy it, never put this in your compost pile.
If you use chemical pesticides or fungicides you will also kill your soil. Soil should be rich with living organisms which loosen your soil, add organic material and as well are great pest control agents. Nature keeps things in balance and if you kill the bad bugs you also kill the good bugs and upset this natural control.
Use organic products instead. There are many great solutions to make using baking soda, vinegar and soap. Used sparingly they will do far less harm than their chemical cousins.
Don’t be afraid to manually get rid of pests. You can pick them off, blast them with water, shake them off or squish them. Simple and effective.
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