Natural Gardening the Fast and Easy Way
What does the organic gardener do to get even more food out of their garden with less labor? They use their skills and common sense, the way our grandparents did. Natural gardening is one step up from organic gardening. It follows the same principles but adds these five simple steps.
1. Get your garden essentials free
You should have to purchase very little for your natural garden. Nature provides most of it free!
For example, do you really need to buy garden seeds, at least after the first year? If you select only those seeds that don’t state F1, F2 or ‘hybrid’ on the packet you can grow the plants then keep a few seeds at season’s end. Chances are, they’ll grow true to their variety next year. So you can save the seed again. And again.
Even better is to swap your saved seeds with gardeners of a like mind. Needless to say, this idea works with any garden item that you can barter or borrow. You’ll discover a host of interesting new friends and won’t ever have to buy anything for your garden again.
2. Discover natural weed suppression
Don’t buy herbicides and weed killers. They contain toxic chemicals that stay a long time in the soil, whatever manufacturers may claim.
Most annual weeds will die after repeated doses of fierce brine or strong household vinegar, say, from a pickle jar. As for those perennial nasties like horsetail, bindweed, quack grass and the like, a plastic membrane or old carpet does the trick. You just cut little holes and grow plants through them.
True, those pesky weeds will return once you take off the membrane but, over many years, you’ll be able to grow a lot of food in that area with little work.
3. Apply natural pest control
For every pest, there’s a natural gardening remedy. Most leaf-crawling bugs like caterpillars and aphids will succumb to a mix of vegetable cooking oil shaken with water and a little washing up liquid. Some folk add garlic, chilli or other spices as irritants but oil is the key ingredient. It seals the bugs’ breathing holes.
Likewise, water that’s just ‘off the boil’ will destroy insects with soft bodies. It won’t harm a large mature plant. Flick the liquid on with a brush.
If your soil has nematodes or other soil-crawling pests, plant French marigolds (Tagetes patula) around the plants you want to protect. (They have a great musky fragrance too!) Do note, they must be Tagetes patula. Other marigolds or calendula don’t work.
Got problems with flying bugs? Smear garlic paste on sticks and stake them around your beds. Carrot fly and the like won’t come near.
4. Organic disease preventives
Many old gardeners’ tricks really do work. For example, when you plant seed potatoes put soot or lawn clippings around them and it deters scab.
Late blight in outdoor tomatoes can’t easily be controlled, even with the latest copper-based chemical products. But you can stop blight taking hold simply by growing your tomatoes out of the rain. A simple transparent awning will work.
Fungal diseases can usually be prevented by not crowding your plants, keeping damp away and spraying an infusion of kelp or horsetail. Hundreds of other natural remedies for plant diseases exist, based upon common sense or organic solutions based on plants you can find in your own garden.
5. Make your own gardening gadgets
Don’t buy a labor-saving gadget! Consider instead whether – with just a little ingenuity – you could make your own for pennies. Or for free.
For example, all hoses become ‘leaky hoses’ in time. So you can make your own automatic irrigation device by perforating an old hose at six-inch intervals, stopping one end and attaching the other end to an outdoor tap or rain barrel. You’ll have a watering device as good as anything that’s shop-bought.
It’s foolish to buy plastic clips to fasten canes and trellises. Cut strips out of plastic milk bottles and staple them! Or you can collect the wire twists from discarded champagne corks. (Get them free from restaurants.) They make a strong durable ‘clip’ that can be twisted around wigwams of canes, at the top, and will hold them together even in a storm.
Don’t shop – think!
As Homer Simpson might say: ‘Duh! It’s easy.’ Once you learn to think like a natural gardener, you’ll save a fortune – and have a lot more fun in your garden. You can also laugh, politely, at your neighbors who exhaust their wallets to buy ready-made solutions to gardening problems rather than thinking their way out of them.
After all, the old time gardeners didn’t always have easy access to a garden center or farm supply shop. But they didn’t do so badly, growing food the natural way. If they hadn’t done so, you wouldn’t be around today to read this article!
Author Dr John Yeoman PhD founded the Gardening Guild, the world-wide center for natural gardening ideas. Discover a treasury of fresh and highly original ideas for growing more food in your garden, with minimal cost or effort, in his ‘how to’ manual Lazy Secrets for Natural Gardening Success. Download it at once, free at: http://www.gardeningguild.org/lazy
Article from articlesbase.com
Related Plastic Jars Articles