Organic gardening, Indigenous plants, permaculture
Nature exists in balance and it is the recognition of the
ways in which you can support that balance that will make
a successful organic garden. Every plant has its pest but
every pest has its predator. Wage chemical warfare on the
pests and you'll win the battle but at what cost?
With no adequate food source the numbers of helpful garden
predators will diminish leaving no other solution than to
pump more poisons into your garden next year and the year
The real difference
comes at the planning stage, ensuring that you have
set things up so that you can use the strength of nature
rather than the strength of your back. A healthy soil,
rich in nutrients and life, is the essential building
block of any garden. Soil is a complex and delicate
ecosystem in its own right with a multitude of organisms
converting a wide variety of inactive materials into
the essential nutrients that your plants will thrive
Chemical fertilisers can destroy these organisms and
pull you and your garden into a cycle of dependency.
A fundamental principle of organic gardening is to feed your
soil and then let the soil feed your plants. By providing
the materials that the natural fauna and flora in your soil
need to thrive, you will encourage more and more of these
hard working little organisms to grow and multiply. The result,
an ever increasing quality of soil with more and more available
As your soil develops
the effects spread further up the larger ecosystem.
Good soil promotes a healthy population of worms and
worms attract larger garden visitors. It's not long
before even the smallest garden starts to see signs
of hedgehogs, toads and other more substantial beasties.
Their presence further adds to the quality of your soil.
You'd be amazed just how much nutrient comes out of
the feathery posteriors of the typical family of birds.
Your garden and house already provide most of the nutritional
requirements of your soil and garden.
All you need to do is to help them out of the form they are
currently locked away in.
Potato peelings or a pile of grass cuttings aren't much use
by themselves but properly composted they will produce a rich
and perfectly natural fertiliser and soil conditioner.
Composting is one of those areas that gardeners and gardening
books seem to delight in laying down mixtures rules and techniques
The simple truth is that composting is probably one of the
easiest and, in and odd way, rewarding aspects of gardening.
Compost is simply the by-product of our little garden friends
having a right royal feast on the organic leftovers we produce
from home and gard
One of the most difficult
things to control in any garden are the many and varied
little creatures who appreciate your plants for attributes
other than their beauty. Calling in an air strike from
a spray gun loaded with noxious chemicals is pretty
effective, but at what price?
Plants managed to survive for a few years before pesticides
came onto the scene. So there are other ways of controlling
garden pests that are a little less dangerous.
A healthy plant has its own defences against attack, the stronger
and healthier the plant the better the defences. Make sure that
you take care of the plant and it will be better prepared to
fend off attacks.
Where possible, move the location of your plants. This can be
very effective as the pests that over-winter within the plants
proximity will emerge in the spring to find their source of
If it's alive then something will like to eat it! Do your
best to encourage the right predators and let them take
care of the pests for you.
Stick with one type of plant massed into a single area
and you are inviting trouble. Vary your planting and this
will control the spread of pests.
It's not subtle but a net can provide 100% security against
birds and a slug trap filled with beer will send most of our
slimy friends to an early alcoholic demise.
As a last resort, a number of substances are acceptable to some
organic gardeners. Soft soap in solution contains only natural
products and can be quite effective against aphids and other
small insects. Other combinations of allowable substances are
becoming available as garden centres and companies react to
(also called worm compost, vermicast, worm castings, worm humus
or worm manure) is the end-product of the breakdown of organic
matter by some species of earthworm. Vermicompost is a nutrient-rich,
organic fertilizer and soil conditioner. The process of producing
vermicompost is called vermicomposting .The earthworm species
(or composting worms) most often used are Red Wigglers or Red.
These species are commonly found in organic rich soils and especially
prefer the special conditions in rotting vegetation, compost
and manure piles. Composting worms are available from nursery
mail-order suppliers or angling (fishing) shops where they are
sold as bait. Small-scale vermicomposting is well-suited to
turn kitchen waste into high-quality soil, where space is limited.
Together with bacteria, earthworms are the major catalyst for
decomposition in a healthy vermicomposting system, although
other soil species also play a contributing role: these include
insects, other worms and molds.
Vermicompost, also known as worm castings and vermicast, is
richer in many nutrients than compost produced by other composting
methods. It is also rich in microbial life which helps break
down nutrients already present in the soil into plant-available
forms. Unlike other compost, worm castings also contain worm
mucus which keeps nutrients from washing away with the first
watering and holds moisture better than plain soil. For this
reason, some fruit and seed pits are reported to germinate in
vermicompost easily. Vermicompost made from ordinary kitchen
scraps will contain small seeds, especially those of tomatoes,
peppers, and eggplants, that may sprout weeks later.
its physical structure;
soil in micro-organisms, adding plant hormones such as auxins
gibberellic acid, and adding enzymes such as phosphatase and
deep-burrowing earthworms already present in the soil;
water holding capacity;
germination, plant growth, and crop yield; and
root growth and structure.
Vermicompost can be used to make compost tea (worm tea), by
mixing some vermicompost in water and steeping for a number
of hours or days. The resulting liquid is used as a fertilizer.
The dark brown waste liquid that drains into the bottom of some
vermicomposting systems, as water-rich foods break down, is
also excellent as fertilizer.