There is nothing more satisfying than picking your own home-grown fruit and vegetables or filling your home with beautiful home-grown flowers. Achieving this in any sized garden is so much easier than most people imagine. Gardening is not a big chore if it is tended to regularly and with love. It’s as simple as 1, 2, 3!
Whether you are planting your garden on one acre, in a few pots in your courtyard or on your apartment balcony the principles are the same. The only difference is the space you have. Obviously, in a smaller space you will need to farm intensively and feed your soil more regularly.
The most important ingredient in successful gardening and vegetable growing is the quality of your soil. Good soil is the foundation for a successful garden. The time you give to your soil in the early stages saves so much time and heartache later. Organic gardeners know that the key to a successful garden is not feeding the plants but the soil itself. Think of a rainforest and then think of the underlayer of composting material. Healthy soil is brimming with life.
So you have your soil. What else do you need that is just as important?
- Organic compost
Organic Compost comes in the form of chook poo, manure, worm castings, broken down vegetables and plants. Artificial fertilisers may feed your plants quickly now but they strip the soil of nutrients depleting its quality in the long run. Always go natural. Dig it under the soil if the smell gets to you. As for me, I LOVE the smell of chook poo as I know how fabulously it is feeding my garden!! It makes me feel good!!
- Seaweed and if required, soil conditioners
Healthy soil holds water longer and provides conditions that the plants are better able to survive without water for longer. The best vitamin fix you can give your plants is the occasional spraying with seaweed topical sprays and worm juice sprays. So easy to use they are like lathering ourselves in moisturiser. Your plants will LOVE it!! Soil conditioners are used if there is a PH imbalance in your soil.
Mulch suppresses weeds, feeds the soil with nitrogen and important bacteria and fungi, reduces erosion and protects your soil by keeping it cooler in summer and warmer in winter. Mulch encourages worms, that in turn aerate the soil and provide nutritious worm castings. I find it best to alternate between soft mulches and hard mulches. Soft mulch like sugarcane breaks down and feeds the soil. Hard mulches like tea-tree and coconut husk provide important fungi and bacteria. If you want to decorate your pots with stones make sure you mulch beneath them. Stones etc may look good but they provide nothing to the soil.
It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3!!!
Now you are ready to plant your veges and sit back and reap the rewards of your efforts!!