Once your garden has been laid out and prepared,
maintenance is much easier. Keep digging to an absolute minimum as the
system is designed to allow earthworms to work their magic. Good
mulching practices are the mainstay of a fertile and healthy organic
Look for local organic materials to use as mulch - again making sure
they are chemical free. Lucerne hay and pea straw make the best mulches,
but you can also use spent mushroom compost (check if insecticides have
been used), spent hops, even reclaimed underfelt - most older underfelts
are 100% pure biodegradable organic material.
Why make Compost?
Mulching with compost is one of the best things you can do for your
organic garden. You and your plants will be hugely rewarded with the
addition of a layer of compost mulch.
Compost is basically made from recycled kitchen and garden waste. It
is used to feed and condition the soil. Well made compost smells sweet
and earthy with a rich, dark soil-like texture. It is best used as a
mulch, adding a 2 - 3cm layer over your soil. The animals in the soil
take the compost deep into the soil, making the nutrients available to
your plants. This works very well in a no-dig garden.
Using compost to plant out, at least for the first time, will provide
your garden beds with starter cultures of micro-organisms.
Creating your own compost heap(s) allows you to incorporate organic
matter that you wouldn't otherwise have available to your garden. For
example; seaweed is an excellent source of trace elements and rich
nutrients but can't be used directly on your garden. Composting
ingredients breaks them down to a usable product.
You can use your own compost in home made seed-raising mixes and
potting mixes. Combined with river sand, compost makes a
seedling-raising mix that has the right texture, water-retaining and
drainage qualities, and that is nutrient rich enough to give seedling
and cuttings a great start to life.
Another great reason to compost is that you are reducing the amount
of rubbish you send to become land-fill. Instead of adding to the
problem of vast amounts of garbage that we create, you will be turning
your kitchen scraps, plant material and animal waste into a gorgeous
product that will benefit your plants and all the micro-organisms in
your garden soil.
This is the basic premise of organic gardening :-)
Please encourage everyone you know to recycle and make their own