eco living - gardening
If you have some sort of garden - no matter what size, you can
grow your own vegetables. Even townhouse or apartment dwellers
can grow herbs or vegetables in containers.
An organic approach to gardening:
Organic gardening is about using eco friendly ways to grow produce, working with nature rather than against it.
- creating healthy soil structure
- adding organic matter ie compost, leaf mould, chicken manure etc
- avoiding the use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides
- companion planting (protects crops form pests naturally)
- crop rotation
- no-dig gardening and raised beds are popular methods used in organic gardens.
Soil history is important - you may have inherited unhealthy soil that has been fertilised and/or sprayed with pesticides. If you are unsure about your soil, you can have this tested (look under 'soil testing' in the yellow pages). However don't be overly concerned - you can use organic methods to improve the health of your soil or use raised beds to grow your produce. Soil testing is important if you are intending to go through organic certification.
Purchase organic seeds or seedlings at your local organic store
or garden centre.
If you decide to build raised beds, remember to avoid the use of treated timber.
(for more information, check out this article on building a raised bed garden on Organic Pathways)
Recycling in the garden:
- Mulch prunings, or tie into bundles for kindling
- make ‘paper bricks’ to supplement winter fuel
- use paper or cardboard as garden mulch, or to supplement worm farm food
- give nursery bags and pots to ‘green fingered’ friends
- moveable unwanted shrubs/trees can be advertised
- some used carpets make good garden mulch
- conserve water by recycling waste water
- make seedling protectors from plastic drink bottles by cutting the bottom out.
1. Lavelle, Christine and Michael. 2003. the organic garden. Anness Publishing. London.
Further Reading :
Compost - the Organic Cornerstone