Resident Green Living expert Holly Brooker shares an insight into organic gardening.
When planning to build or buy a new home it’s a great idea to include ways to make your home eco-smart inside and out. Spending a little time, and money, on setting up a sustainable backyard will provide an abundance of fresh organic food and a visually aesthetic space; not to mention pure satisfaction and reward as the fruits of your labour are eaten and shared with others. Regardless of gardening experience anyone can establish a vegetable patch and learn the art of growing green.
Prepare Prepare Prepare
Preparation is key. It is crucial to find a suitable home for your garden bed, preferably a spot with good drainage, some solid morning or afternoon sun, wind protection and a space sized to suit your lifestyle. If you are new to gardening, it may be wise to start with a small patch so you don’t feel overwhelmed and over-committed time-wise. Too big a space for a novice gardener will simply lead to a neglected backyard mess!
Types of Garden
Dig in gardens are literally dug into the ground, requiring a solid and secure spot alongside some serious muscle work. Loosen the topsoil and dig at least 30 centimeters deep to aerate the soil and allow for unaffected root growth.
Raised garden beds sit on top of the ground and are great for bad backs as they do not require much digging. Simply place the garden box in your chosen location, fill with soil and you’re ready to get started.
Try using recycled timber to create garden beds, or use untreated timber such as plantation grown macrocarpa, which naturally resists insects and rot. A layer of thick newspaper or untreated sawdust on the bottom can be helpful in a weedy area to prevent stranglers from growing through the soil.
Pots or planters are ideal space-savers and are perfect for small yards and apartments. Make sure you allow for drainage by placing stones in the base of the pot to enable water to flow through without getting trapped and flooding your plants. Get creative with old containers or discarded wine barrels for a sustainable option.
To see more Growing Green ideas pick up a copy of the lastest issue of homestyle. On sale now at supermarkets and book stores nationwide.