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What I am talking about here is creating ecosystem in your garden – and that means people and plants living in harmony. If that is your goal, consider the following 10 tips. The bonus in achieving this is that you will also safe yourself some work, since an organic garden will well capable of taking care of itself.
1. Make your lawn more eco-friendly:
When seeding or over-seeding, reduce the percentage of Kentucky Bluegrass and replace it with hardy perennial and drought-tolerant seeds. Talk to your garden centre people who will recommend the right type for your area.
2. Choose the right plant for the right place:
Select plants that are hardy for your growing zone and suit your soil, rainfall and hours of sunshine. The best tips is to choose the plants that are native to your area. They will be naturally resistant to pests and disease and won’t be nutrient hogs.
3. Think like Darwin:
Go with the survival of the fittest. If plant died the first time you tried it, don’t replace the same thing – select a better option.
4. Look for healthy plants:
At the nursery, check the plants are free of insects and disease and choose the ones with strong stems and healthy foliage.
5. Pick the right pots:
Buy plants in biodegradable pots, such as those made from bamboo, coconut, rice or wheat fibres. If these are not available, shop at stores that have returnable and recyclable program.
6. Feed the soil naturally:
A great organic garden is built on a good base. Recycle uncooked fruit and vegetable scraps (no meat or dairy products), leaves and grass and garden clippings by adding them to your compost bin. Once it’s cooked, use the finished rich, dark crumbly compost to feed your flowerbeds right through the growing season.
Dig coffee grounds into garden beds to add nitrogen to the soil.
A good layer of mulch is worth its weight in gold. Apply mulch to reduce weed growth, retain moisture in the soil and keep roots cool.
9. Practice prevention:
Take the time to smell the roses. Once you are up close, you can spot early signs of disease and insect infestation before you have a big problem. And keep your beds free of dead or decaying plant material.
10. Work with Nature:
Invite all things good into your garden by welcoming beneficial bugs and other friendly creatures.
On that last note – stay tuned for an article on identifying friendly bugs and insects!