THE SECRETS TO ORGANIC GARDENING, STEMS FROM THE SOIL.

THE SECRETS TO ORGANIC GARDENING, STEMS FROM THE SOIL.

While wandering around my garden, I muse over the recent rainfall sent from the heavens, restoring my hopes and that of my garden beds. I live in a cool temperate zone and, owing to the effects of 16 years of drought and climate change, our region falls short of average rainfall. If you own a rain gauge, it maybe that you also delight in checking the totals after soaking rains, especially following a dry spell.

So, why do we gardener’s gaze skyward at menacing cumulonimbus thunder heads, and avidly learn to recognize other rain bearing clouds?  I suggest that it could be:

*To dance in the rain, or jump puddles

*Fill buckets or bins with rain water

*Listen to frogs in ponds and wetlands

*Marvel at the rain drops on our fruit & vegetables

*Breathe a sigh of relief, and put down the watering can

Another good reason to get excited at the rain worthy clouds is the potential for millimetres, or in some parts of the world, meters of life giving water. Each rain bearing cloud has the potential for delivering hundreds of litres of water.

Water plays an important role in organic gardening; it is the medium in which the nutrients are transported to the root systems. Water makes nutrients such as *nitrogen, *phosphorous, *potassium, *trace elements, and *minerals available and accessible to all plant life.

It is in these moistened soils that microbial activity can convert nutrients from organic materials and fertilizers into forms that the roots of the plants can absorb.

You’ve probably loosened your soil with a garden fork and turned up worms, slaters and grubs. If you have worms in your composts or garden beds, it is good news! Worms are useful in aerating, oxygenating, and breaking down the organic materials into good bacteria and fungus in soils.

I’m passionate about growing roses, perennials, annuals, native plants and trees, fruit trees, herbs and vegies. Therefore, when growing those tasty, edible plants for your family, it’s vital to use organic methods of cultivation.

Now, in order to achieve the best results and grow the highest quality and maintain good production from your flowering and fruiting plants, it must stem from the ground up. By organic I mean:

*No chemical, toxic pesticides, as they contain residual poisons harmful to beneficial insects, and to human consumption.

*No chemical fertilizers, which can inhibit microbial and worm activity, poisonous to soils and humans.

*Only apply organic fertilizers, either dry powder or pelletized and liquid formulations, which make it readily available to plants.

*If you don’t have space for a composting system, buy good quality ready-made compost.

*Compost should contain fruit and veggie scraps, moistened shredded newspaper for carbon, grass clippings and leaf litter.

If you have an established garden, it’s not too late to improve your soils. By gently loosening the soil below the drip line of the plant’s canopy, incorporate humus or composted soil, liquid and dry fertilizer to slowly break down, covering with soft mulches like lucerne hay and pea straw. Before long, you will notice a huge difference in the health of your plants, and a plethora of flowers, fruit and vegetables to be enjoyed by all!!

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