by Cassandra Taubman - My Shout Out
If you are interested in living close to nature then a great way to start would be to grow your own fruit, vegetables and herbs!
Permaculture gardening is a holistic approach to gardening. It means “permanent agriculture” and is defined as working with natural forces – the wind, sun and water – to provide food, shelter, water and everything else your garden needs besides plants and seeds.
The guiding principle of a permaculture garden is you are replicating patterns of growth and harvest that occur naturally.
Key Design Features :
·Soil preservation – how are you going to protect your soil eg. mulch, no-dig gardening, soil composting
·Plant stacking - planting new plants when the existing ones are at the end of their productive cycle. Start with larger plants first, then progressively plant smaller plants, finishing with ground cover.
·Companion Planting - choose crops that work together in nature.eg. You can plant crops together that stimulate plant growth, make your plants more resistant to pests and disease.
( Reference : www.thespruce.com )
Snails – silvery trails all around the garden are the bane of every gardener!
Beer snail traps have been around for a little while and are considered more environmentally friendly. Snails are attracted to the yeasty smell of beer, causes them to fall into the beer trap, then drown or succumb to alcohol poisoning.
All you need is a container such as a tuna can or yoghurt container, fill it up with beer and set into the ground. You need to leave the edge of the container an inch above ground so you don’t harm the ground beetles that eat slugs.
Think about where to place the beer traps – snails can smell the "beery" aroma from a long distance so they may be tempted to have a nibble on their way to the trap! Consider placing the beer traps near to hardier plants that tolerate snail damage better.
•You don’t need to use expensive beer!
•Check your beer traps and empty and renew containers with beer
regularly – especially after rain
No Dig Garden:
The best thing about a no-dig garden is literally not having to dig a garden bed – it sits above the ground and is about layers of organic material such as wood chips, blood and bone.
Despite not having soil, the different layers of organic material form an ideal growing environment for vegetables and herbs as they break down.
There are a variety of benefits of using the no-dig garden approach :
•They can be set up anywhere.
•No digging involved - easy and quick to set up.
•Fertile as decomposing organic matter becomes rich, black compost quickly.
•Retains moisture well.
•Discourages weed growth as the soil isn’t turned over.
Reference : www.veryediblegardens.com.au
No dig gardening is all about soil building and can be referred to as lasagna gardening – layer upon layer of different organic materials like compost, mulch, straw.
In gardening, companion planting is the careful placement of plants, especially vegetables and herbs, which have been shown to have beneficial benefits on each other. These might be to help improve pest management, provide shelter from the sun or attract pollinators.
The core idea of companion planting focuses on bringing pollinators and beneficial insects to your garden and improve biodiversity.
Some companion planting ideas are cucumber and nasturtiums – the nasturtium’s scent seems to repel pests.
Calendula and broccoli – the sticky substance on the calendula’s stems help attract and trap aphids.
Corn, beans and pumpkin – the corn give beans a place to climb, the beans convert atmospheric nitrogen to a form that the plants can use , the spreading leaves of the pumpkin create a living mulch that helps reduce weeds and helps retain moisture.
•Compost Bins :
•Composting is a simple, inexpensive way of transforming kitchen and garden waste into nutrient rich food for your garden!
•The compost is known as humus – nutrient rich soil. When it's placed on top of existing soil it adds nutrients like nitrogen and carbon which are used by plants for growth and photosynthesis.
Types of Composting :
There are two types of composting – hot and cold.
Cold composting - is as simple as collecting yard waste or taking out the organic materials in your trash (such as fruit and vegetable peels, coffee grounds and filters, and eggshells) and then placing them in a pile or bin. Over a period of twelve months, the materials will break down.
Hot composting - four ingredients needed for fast-cooking hot compost - nitrogen, carbon, air, and water. Together, these items feed microorganisms, which speed up the process of decay.
Garden waste is plentiful during spring and fall, you can mix one big batch of compost and then start a second one while the first one "cooks".
Different ways of composting vary from arranging all your compost materials in a pile in your garden to purchasing a compost bin.
Choosing what type of composter depends on three things :
-Where you live eg urban, suburban or rural.
-What you will be composting.
-Whether you wish to manually turn your compost over.
Before starting, work out where the optimum spot is to place your compost bin i.e a shady area that is well drained. Too much sun will dry out your compost bin.