Thoughts and musings
Lewis | August 24, 2015 | 0 Comments
‘How to…’ Series #5: Go Organic.
It can be due to a number of potential reasons, but the view and perception of organic gardening being being a ‘fad’ could not be further from the truth. It could be down to the exposure we as gardeners have had to the – some might say ‘questionable’ – marketing strategies of pesticide-producing companies in recent years, but organic gardening is simply how our elderly relations conducted their gardening, just like their parents and their parents before them.
When I recall personal conversations I have had with friends over dinner about organic produce, some even still question the idea. But the proof is in the pudding, if you will. Without the spraying of chemicals and pesticides, the vegetation will contain only the good elements. Sure, it is well-documented that pesticides can help a garden by ridding the area of certain pests and plant diseases and sometimes, the use of chemicals may be necessary. However, instead of just focussing on a particular pest, even a pesticide manufactured to target a specific organism will harm your garden in some way, shape or form. Chemicals will cause damage to other plants, often killing everything it touches. Not only this, they have been linked to the substantial decline in the bee population and there is a worry about the long-term effects of sprayed crops on humans after consumption.
Therefore, whether it carries a tag of being a little strange or not, organic gardening is an incredible thing you can do for your garden, your environment and ecosystem as well as, potentially, the health of you and your family. Bearing that in mind, we have deciphered that to start an organic garden can be broken down into three simple steps. Despite yet another stereotype of organic gardening, it is inexpensive and surprisingly easy to do. Therefore, read on to discover how you can make your garden an organic one in three simple steps.
Like many things, it is best to take a backward step and assess your situation before jumping in at the deep end. Take stock of what you will need and ensure you have it. For example, start making your own compost; it is very easy to do and benefits your garden by providing nutrients and conserving water and it even helps the environment, by keeping food waste away from landfill. It will even ensure your plants will be chemical-free. Also, make your choice of plants and/or veg you will grow. To start simple, we recommend tomatoes and French beans. Get these non-GMO seeds once and continue with the seeds that will be produced by the resulting plant!
If the location of your organic garden isn’t thought about, it could be a disaster. A friend of mine started a similar venture not a few months ago, when he moved into his new house and after a lot research he couldn’t wait to get going. So much so, in his haste, he completed his organic garden in a single morning! Quite an effort you may think. However, as he didn’t know he new property all too well, come soon after midday, his garden was starved of sunlight as the Sun fell behind his house. The lesson: the goal is to always achieve the perfect conditions for your organic garden, which includes sunlight, water supply and soil conditions.
After all of this planning, it is time to get going! When planting grown plants from the garden centre, ensure you dig a hole for it in relation to the size of the roots. The hole should be at the depth of the roots, but the width of the hole should be twice the size. This will ensure the roots have room to spread and the plant and/or flower to blossom. When the plant is placed, fill the hole with the soil, water the roots well (without overwatering!) and use your new compost as well as some mulch to help the area retain water and stop the growth of weeds.
And there you have it! This three-step plan is by no way the only correct way to commence your new organic garden, but it is definitely a good start! There is always so much you can do; a lot more can be found on the Internet, such as on the RHS website. Either way, we hope you enjoyed the latest edition of our ‘How to…’ Series!
Oakleigh Manor Limited are a multi-disciplinary company specialising in providing all outdoor needs under one roof, for all size and styles of external spaces. Our expertise has led us to numerous national awards, but what fuels us every day is the ethos we adopt: to create unique, bespoke projects. You can see perfect examples of these by looking at our Swimming Pools webpage.