Growing natural foods without the use of chemical fertilisers, dangerous pesticides and herbicides not only protects your family from harmful effects but also provides the healthiest and tastiest of foods.
Organic gardening: Natural gardening is also known as organic gardening. It is much more than replacing man-made chemicals for natural ones. This type of gardening basically focuses on cultivating an ecosystem that nourishes all plants, soils and beneficial insects. Many people are adopting natural gardening to keep their family and surroundings safe. A lot of people still think that organic gardening is impractical and expensive. If done in the right way, it yields more fruitful results compared to commercially-centred growing. Natural gardening aims to knock off everything which do harm to Mother Nature, birds or the plants around us. Firsts thing first, to develop this ecosystem soil has to be improved by mixing in compost. The mixture increases the capacity to retain water and nutrients. Compost can be easily made at home by collecting grass clippings, yard debris, kitchen scraps and leaves.
Organic fertilisers: Compost will help to increase the soils ability to hold nutrients but it will still need to have organic fertilisers in order to supply the many other nutrients required by plants. These fertilisers are derived from natural sources such as animal manures and by-products, plant products like seaweed and wood ash, natural deposit like rock phosphate. Agricultural lime is one of the best natural products used in soil. If you soil is too acidic, agricultural lime is used to raise the soil pH but many soils do not require additional liming. To check if yours does use a soil pH level checking kit from your local gardening shop.
Soil enrichment and fertilisers are not the only crucial aspect for organic gardening. Organic pest management is also a must to protect garden plants from insect damage.
Natural pest control: It is the safest and most cost-effective approach to encourage the population of beneficial insects that destroy the pests that cause damage to your plants. Organic gardeners have realistic expectations. They know insects/pests cannot be destroyed completely but efforts can be done to keep them below damaging levels. Encouraging the population of beneficial insects like birds, spiders, bats, lizards and frogs is one of the main methods to keep them below damaging levels. Plant a wide variety of plants/flowers and avoid using synthetic pesticides to support these helpful species. Another good method of organic pest control is to practice good sanitation. Hand-picking insect pests, rotating crops, removing disease-infected plants also help to suppress pest populations. Soaps, oil and abrasives are also used to control some insects and diseases. They degrade quickly in the environment without causing any damage to plants, your family and the environment.
In order to add organic matter and nutrients to the soil, use nature’s wonder workers–
Chickens : If you do not have space constraints, raising chickens will not only give you the advantage of fresh eggs but chickens will eat your table scraps and provide fertiliser for soil enrichment. They will also eat up any spiders, grubs, grasshoppers and more.
Worm farms : Making a worm farm is an easy task. Polystyrene boxes are often turned into small worm farms. You can feed the worms banana peel, eggshells and other fruit scraps but avoid citrus or onions because they are too acidic for worms. These wonderful little creatures make the best organic castings and ‘worm juice’ for your garden. Check out Masters or Bunnings for easy to use worm farms.
Bokashi buckets: This is an efficient method to convert your food scraps into rich compost. Layer your kitchen waste in a bokashi bucket. When it is full, bury the material in a trench and cover it with soil. Within 4 weeks’ time, the food waste will turn out to be the ultimate nutrient soil. You can find bokashi buckets at Bunnings and Masters.